Looking for a spark, Toys “R” Us has shifted its focus to building a presence in the Indian market.
The toy store company announced Oct. 7 it has opened its first store in the country in Bangalore, through a franchise tie-up with Tablez India, a company that is part of Abu Dhabi-based Yusuff Ali MA-owned Lulu Group.
The partnership plans to open 65 more stores in India over the next decade, according to the company.
With an investment of $50 million, it will feature two brands of the American retailer, including Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us.
In September, the retailer filed for bankruptcy for its U.S. and Canadian subsidiaries, citing online competition and sizeable debt as reasons. The filing does not include any countries outside the two listed, where its brand remains strong, according to a report.
With its growing and increasingly affluent middle-class, India is a promising market for retailers looking to sell toys and games to kids, especially as discerning parents up their spends on branded products, according to a Quartz India report.
Toys “R” Us plans to “bring a lot of organization to unorganized retail as well as wholesale distribution,” Adeeb Ahmed, managing director of Tablez India, said in the report.
The challenge, however, is that demand in India is shifting rapidly as kids get influenced by digital toys and tablets, according to the publication.
“It isn’t just about selling toys,” Ahmed said in the report. “We want to create a space where kids and parents can come and learn new, experiential and interactive things.”