Toys R Us may be dead and gone but its iconic Geoffrey the Giraffe mascot may live on at Kroger.
When the popular toy store shut its collective doors in June as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the retailer's intellectual property was acquired by investors led by its parent company's lenders. That group said it was "actively working with potential partners to develop ideas for new Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in the United States and abroad that could bring back these iconic brands in a new and re-imagined way." The first evidence of that move appears to be arriving in at least some Kroger stores behind a "Geoffrey's Toy Box" program ahead of the holiday season.
The program so far appears to include giraffe-branded displays and shippers carrying toys such as Journey Girls, according to some social media posts.
🦒 Geoffrey’s Toy Box already spotted in Kroger’s!! 🦒 pic.twitter.com/w21juS48im— The Full Force Podcast (@TheFullForce) October 31, 2018
This will be the first holiday season without Toys R Us, whose store liquidation put more than $11 billion in annual toy sales up for grabs. It remains to be seen how the important shopping occasion will pan out.
A study by Gordon Haskett Research Advisors in partnership with data provider Alpha Hat named Target and Walmart as the likely winners of the toys race in Toys R Us' absence, CNBC reported. Additionally, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Costco saw significant toy sales with the named winners capturing about 58% of the traffic that would have otherwise gone to Toys R Us.
However, Toys R Us still has the potential to make a comeback, as investors have said they think it will be more profitable to revive the toy store and enhance it with new ideas instead of selling it for parts, according to CBS News.
In addition to the new branded toy displays, Kroger also upped its one-stop-shop game with a new signature clothing line, dubbed Dip, in September.