aNb Media News, February 21, 2017

TRU Lays Off 10-15% of Corporate Team

The day before Toy Fair 2017, the toy retail giant Toys “R” Us announced that it had laid off between 10–15 percent (approximately 250 jobs) of its corporate workforce.

“The recent changes are not just about cost-containment—our growth plans require us to have the right structure, talent and determination to transform our business and achieve the financial objectives we’ve set for the company,” Amy Von Walter, Toys “R” Us EVP of global communication and PR, said in a statement first reported to The Wall Street Journal.

Last year, TRU announced that it would refinance its remaining $850 million debt load, allowing investors holding bonds maturing in 2017 and 2018 to swap their holdings for those maturing in 2021. In 2005, investors led by KKR & Co., Bain Capital, and Vornando Realty Trust bought out the company for $6.6 billion.

Walmart Acquires E-Commerce Outdoor Retailer Moosejaw

Walmart has acquired Moosejaw, a leading online active outdoor retailer with a large web presence and 10 physical stores. The acquisition closed on Feb. 13 for approximately $51 million.

Moosejaw carries more than 400 brands, including Patagonia, The North Face, Marmot, Arc’teryx, and more. It also carries an extensive assortment of apparel and gear for climbing, hiking, camping, snow sports, yoga, swimming, and biking. Moosejaw was founded in 1992 and is headquartered in Madison Heights, Michigan.

Moosejaw will continue to operate its site and stores, and will operate as a standalone and complementary brand to Malmart’s other e-commerce sites.

Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford, his executive team, and Moosejaw’s 350-plus employees will continue to be based in Michigan, and will join Walmart’s new U.S. e-commerce retail organization.

WIT Announces Winners of 2017 Wonder Women Awards

More than 600 executives in toys, licensing, and entertainment gathered Sunday night during Toy Fair to honor women leaders at the Women in Toys, Licensing, and Entertainment (WIT) 13th Annual Wonder Women Awards Gala in New York City.

The 2017 Wonder Women Awards Winners are:

  • Wonder Woman in Entertainment: Andre Lake Mayer, ZAG
  • Wonder Woman in Licensing: Jennifer Bennett, Mattel
  • Wonder Woman in Manufacturing: Laura Zebersky, Jazwares
  • Wonder Woman in Marketing: Lisa Wuennemann, PlayMonster
  • Wonder Woman in Rising Star: Karen Kilpatrick, JazWings; Kathryn Hardy, Disney; Marissa DiBartolo, Toy Book; Nikki Kennamer, Hasbro; Stephanie Haggerty, Moose Toys; Julie Kerwin, IAmElemental

WIT also honored actress and activist Geena Davis with a Gamechanger Award, former Mattel Chairman and CEO Jill Barad with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and ChiTag Founder Mary Couzin with the Elyse Lachowyn Mentorship Award.

TIF Toy Collection on Last Day of Toy Fair

Exhibiting companies at the 114th North American International Toy Fair are encouraged to donate their toys and games to the Toy Industry Foundation’s (TIF) largest toy drive of the year. The collection will take place immediately following the close of the show.

The donated toys will be sent to children’s charities including TIF’s national partner, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA), and several charities in the New York tri-state region serving kids who are impoverished, neglected, sick, or otherwise in need.

Immediately following the show, Toy Bank volunteers wearing bright orange T-shirts will come around to exhibitor booths to collect the donated toys and games. Companies are encouraged to submit their product donation forms at the TIF booth, booth 5701, prior to the collection.

At Toy Fair 2016, the TIF collected more than 50,000 donated toys and games, valued at more than half a million dollars.