aNb Media News, August 15, 2013

Schylling Acquired by Investment Firms

Schylling Associates, Inc., has been acquired by investment firms Crofton Capital, LLC and Gladstone Investment Corporation. Schylling is known for its contemporary versions of classic, iconic toys. In addition to its extensive line of licensed and proprietary toys, Schylling distributes a broad line of products including LEGO, Brio, LavaLamps, Moshi Monsters, Angry Birds, Sea Monkeys, and Erector. The company has an extensive customer base ranging from major retailers to thousands of independent toy, gift, and specialty stores.

Paul Weingard has been named president of Schylling. He most recently led product development at Schylling and brings 30 years of diverse toy industry experience. Founder Jack Schylling is assuming an advisory role focused on providing creative support. David Schylling will continue in a business development leadership role.

The company headquarters and distribution center will continue to operate in Rowley, Mass. Mark Slusarz, vice-president of sales, Jim Leonard, COO, and Tom Schylling, CFO, will also continue in their current roles.

TRU Announces Global Store Growth

Toys “R” Us (TRU) announced its global store growth for 2013, with the planned opening of more than 100 stores, including new locations, the relocation and conversion of 14 stores to the side-by-side format, and 22 new licensed stores. These new stores are located throughout 21 of the 36 countries and jurisdictions in which Toys “R” Us currently has a presence through its wholly owned and licensed businesses.

The most significant expansion plans for 2013 are in China, where TRU has already begun operating several of 22 new stores scheduled to open this year. This follows the launch of an e-commerce site and the opening of its first stores in Beijing last year. By the end of the year, the company plans to operate 51 stores in 27 cities throughout China. In October 2011, TRU acquired the majority stake in its business in Greater China and Southeast Asia from Fung Retailing. With this agreement, the existing TRU licensed operations in this region became 70 percent majority owned and controlled by TRU and 30 percent owned by Fung Retailing.

The second largest area of growth for the company is the U.S., where 19 new, converted, or relocated stores are planned to open.

In a separate announcement earlier this week, TRU introduced its own gift card program in 41 locations throughout China.