BEIJING, Jan. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten years after first entering the market, Toys"R"Us, Inc., the world's leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, today announced that the company has opened its 100th store in China. The milestone achievement was marked by a grand opening celebration event that took place Saturday, January 16, at the APM Shopping Mall in Wang Fu Jing, one of the leading retail districts in Beijing, where Toys"R"Us® opened one of its 27 new stores across the country within the past year.
"It's our mission to be the best toy and baby products retail company in the world, and international expansion, particularly throughout China and Southeast Asia, continues to be an important part of our long-term growth strategy," said Dave Brandon, Chairman and CEO, Toys"R"Us, Inc. "The opening of the 100th store in China represents a significant achievement for our business as it allows us to meet the increasing demand for high-quality children's products and family entertainment experiences in this market."
Toys"R"Us opened its first store in China in 2006 and currently operates in 44 cities throughout the country, including six where the company established a presence for the first time last year. China has been one of the most important markets for the company's global expansion plans, and growth in this region is expected to continue with the planned opening of more than 30 new Toys"R"Us stores in 2016.
"The grand opening of our 100th store is a major milestone for Toys"R"Us on our exciting journey in China," said Andre Javes, Managing Director, Toys"R"Us, Greater China and Southeast Asia. "What differentiates Toys"R"Us as a specialty toy retailer is the memorable shopping experience we provide for our customers. This includes a combination of the widest assortment of toys and baby products, including exclusive items not available anywhere else in the market, fun store layouts, interactive in-store experiences, product displays and demonstrations, activities and more."
Attending the iconic 100th store opening ceremony in the heart of the Capital were: Dave Brandon, Chairman and CEO, Toys"R"Us, Inc.; Dr. Victor Fung, Group Chairman, Fung Group; Monika Merz, President, Toys"R"Us, Asia Pacific; Pieter Schats, Executive Director of Fung Retailing Ltd; and Andre Javes, Managing Director, Toys"R"Us, Greater China and Southeast Asia, along with many important business partners and executives from the toy industry.
As part of the grand opening, families were also invited to meet and greet popular mascots such as Geoffrey the Giraffe, Ultraman, Barbie™, Ninjago Kai, Balala Emma and more.
Toys"R"Us at Beijing APM Shopping Mall Features Innovative Retail Environment
The new store showcases the very latest in "retailtainment," digital technology and customer interaction, making shopping at Toys"R"Us a unique and fun experience for kids and adults alike.
Upon entering the store, customers are immediately immersed into the world of Star Wars™: The Force Awakens – the first-ever Star Wars movie released on the big screen in Chinese theaters – with life-size characters and dramatic scenes from the movie. Shoppers will also find interactive displays from LEGO® and TOMICA, a Balala magical mirror and more.
Customers can further interact with the huge, 70-inch digital screen at the store entrance, enabling them to browse through promotional items, make purchases, take "selfies" with special photo frames, play games and easily become members of the company's "Star Card" loyalty program.
The Toys"R"Us store at Beijing APM also brings amazing exclusive products and assortments, which are not available anywhere else in the market. These private brands offer great value, quality and innovation from the Toys"R"Us brand consumers know and trust, and include FastLane®, Dream Dazzlers®, Universe of Imagination, Pavilion®, Just Like Home®, Edu Science®, You & Me, STATs® and Avigo®.
In addition, consumers will find various new features throughout the APM mall, sponsored by Toys"R"Us.
Toys"R"Us in China
Toys"R"Us has been the leading dedicated retailer of toys and baby products around the world for more than 65 years. Toys"R"Us opened its first licensed store in Shanghai, China in 2006, and since then, has continued to expand aggressively in the country. In 2011, Toys"R"Us, Inc. formed a joint venture with its long-term license partner in China and Southeast Asia, Fung Retailing Ltd, for its businesses in the region, with stores in Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, and became 70 percent majority owned and controlled by Toys"R"Us, Inc. and 30 percent owned by Fung Retailing Ltd.
As of January 2016, the company has 100 stores in 44 cities across China, including: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Jiaxing, Jinhua, Shangyu, Nanjing, Suzhou, Nantong, Wuxi, Changzhou, Yancheng, Kunshan, Harbin, Shenyang, Changchun, Dalian, Tianjin, Baoding, Tangshan, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Jinan, Yantai, Zibo, Qingdao, Hefei, Wuhan, Changsha, Luzhou, Ganzhou, Xi'an, Kunming, Nanning, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Zhuhai, Jinjiang and Zhongshan.
Enhanced e-Commerce Business and Omnichannel Capabilities in the Chinese Mainland
Toys"R"Us launched a T-mall Store in April 2012 and its own dedicated e-commerce website at Toysrus.com.cn at the end of the same year. Toys"R"Us, China also operates a mobile-optimized website, enabling tech-savvy consumers across the country to easily shop while on-the-go. Additionally, the company uses its "Ship from Store" capabilities to effectively transform the country's existing Toys"R"Us stores into mini distribution centers by leveraging their inventory to fulfill online purchases.
Now, millions of Mainland customers can access a wide assortment of toys, along with product authenticity and a toy safety guarantee from Toys"R"Us.
Full Range of Toys
Toys"R"Us provides a broad assortment of products from trusted domestic and international brands for children and their parents in China. Stores feature enticing product displays, demonstrations, "see-me touch-me" packaging, and a large number of products that are only available at Toys"R"Us. All products are made to the highest quality standards and have passed all required safety tests.
As a global retailer, Toys"R"Us ensures country-by-country shopping patterns are taken into account at the local market level. Parents in China place great importance on the educational value of toys that help children learn and develop skills while they play. Within its Learning category, Toys"R"Us provides among the most comprehensive and widest selection of educational toys, including many uniquely designed by the company's in-house team. These toys encourage skill development such as learning languages, mathematics, geography, color-differentiation and coordination.
Digital and New Media Platforms
Digital and new media is a booming business across China, with rapid growth of brands and stores across e-commerce websites and online instant messaging platforms.
Mr. Javes also commented, "Toys"R"Us has 1 million followers in WeChat and continues to grow. WeChat followers have been expanding rapidly within the recent two years and we are seeing more than 80 percent of members join in our "Star Card" Membership Program via this social platform, where they can easily play our WeChat game, get the latest promotional information and explore bonus features, which enhance the fun of digital interaction. Along with the fast development of digital platforms such as mobile internet in China, we will continue to engage and excite our consumer on all their digital devices."
About Toys"R"Us, Inc.
Toys"R"Us, Inc. is the world's leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 863 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us® stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 755 international stores and more than 250 licensed stores in 38 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz® brand and sells extraordinary toys at FAO.com. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toys and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys"R"Us, Inc. has an annual workforce of approximately 66,000 employees worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys"R"Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com.
In Asia, Toys"R"Us currently operates more than 400 stores in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, Brunei and mainland China, as well as licensed stores in Macau, South Korea and the Philippines.
About Fung Retailing Limited
The retailing businesses of privately-held Fung Retailing Limited extend from Great China to Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines through a combined network of over 3,000 stores. They include stores operated separately and independently by publicly-listed Convenience Retail Asia Limited(SEHK:00831) and Trinity Limited (SEHK:00891), as well as the privately-held Branded lifestyle Holding Limited, Suhyang Networks Company Limited and UCCAL Fashion Group. Fung Retailing employs over 18,000 staff, and its turnover exceeded US$1.8billion in 2014.
Note to Editors: Privately-held Fung Retailing Limited is totally separate from the publicly-listed company Li & Fung Limited.
All statements that are not historical facts in this press release, including statements about our beliefs or expectations, are forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, among others, the seasonality of our business, ability to open new locations in licensed markets and operated markets, competition in the retail industry, changes in our product distribution mix and distribution channels, general economic factors in the United States and other countries in which we conduct our business, consumer spending patterns, birth rates, our ability to implement our strategy including implementing initiatives for season, our ability to recognize cost savings, marketing strategies, the operation of our e-commerce platform, the availability of adequate financing, access to trade credit, changes in consumer preferences, changes in employment legislation, our dependence on key vendors for our merchandise, political and other developments associated with our international operations, costs of goods that we sell, labor costs, transportation costs, domestic and international events affecting the delivery of toys and other products to our stores, product safety issues including product recalls, the existence of adverse litigation, changes in laws that impact our business, our substantial level of indebtedness and related debt-service obligations, restrictions imposed by covenants in our debt agreements and other risks, uncertainties and factors set forth in our reports and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (which reports and documents should be read in conjunction with this press release). In addition, we typically earn a disproportionate part of our annual operating earnings in the fourth quarter as a result of seasonal buying patterns and these buying patterns are difficult to forecast with certainty. We believe that all forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions when made; however, we caution that it is impossible to predict actual results or outcomes or the effects of risks, uncertainties or other factors on anticipated results or outcomes and that, accordingly, one should not place undue reliance on these statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they were made, and we undertake no obligation to update these statements in light of subsequent events or developments unless required by the Securities and Exchange Commission's rules and regulations. Actual results and outcomes may differ materially from anticipated results or outcomes discussed in any forward-looking statement.
SOURCE Toys"R"Us, Inc.