Hands up who remembers Geoffrey the Giraffe?
Geoffrey was the frontman for the popular toy store Toys ‘R’ Us, which used to be everywhere across the UK.
But then the US-based retail giant went into bankruptcy. Soon afterwards the UK operation became insolvent and shops started disappearing.
The large Toys ‘R’ Us store at Clifton Moor closed in 2018. A Home Bargains later opened in the vacant building.
Now, however, the toy brand is set to make a comeback in the UK with nine shops inside existing WHSmith branches – including the one at Monks Cross in York.
Plans are in with City of York Council to install the famous Toys ‘R’ Us branding below that of WHSmith at the shopping centre.
There would also be vinyls on the shop windows with the message: ‘Toys ‘R’ Us – Now open in-store’.
Toys ‘R’ Us was taken over by WHP Global. It has entered into an agreement with Australian based Toys ‘R’ Us ANZ Ltd to expand into the UK.
In turn, it has signed a sub-licence agreement with WHSmith to trial nine Toys ‘R’ Us shops inside the stationer’s stores.
They are due to open in the first half of this year. Cheltenham, Oxford and Poole in Dorset are also set to get Toys ‘R’ Us stores inside WHSmith branches.
According to The Retail Bulletin, the trial will last for 12 months, or longer if mutually agreed.
Products sold will include toys, games and family/children related items that are typically sold by Toys ‘R’ Us.
The Bulletin wrote: “WHSmith will pay Toys ‘R’ Us a fixed percentage royalty fee based on sales revenue, and costs associated with the shop-in-shops’ operating installations will be the responsibility of WHSmith.
“If successful, there may be a stage two rollout.”