World’s largest toy retailer, the popular American chain Toys“R”Us opened its first offline retail store at Hyderabad’s Sarath City Mall on 11 Mar. ‘23. Ace Turtle, the former SaaS company which has supported many international and Indian brands to go omni-channel with its technological capabilities, has brought this store together in association with Flipkart. In June 2021, Ace Turtle entered into a joint venture with Walmart owned Flipkart’s Wholesale Entity to acquire the license of Toys“R”Us in India.
Commenting on the launch, Nitin Chhabra, CEO, ace turtle said, “We are excited to introduce the globally renowned Toys“R”Us experience for kids with the launch of our first store in Hyderabad. We are committed to making our in-store experience memorable through our range of best-in-class products, in addition to prompt customer service. Toys industry in India is growing fast with the government’s support and there is tremendous potential in the market with a limited number of organized players. We look forward to expanding our reach by opening more physical stores and offering same-day and next-day delivery for the Toys“R”Us online store www.toysrus.in. We believe this will boost the Government’s “Make in India” initiative by accelerating toy manufacturing in the country.”
The new store offers world-class branded toys and experiential touchpoints for kids with its mascot Geoffrey the GiraffeTM. Toys from brands like Barbie, Lego, Hot Wheels, Nerf in addition to licensed toys from Disney and Paramount will be available at the store in Hyderabad.
The toys and games market size in India is estimated to be over Rs. 12,500 cr annually. Over the past 3 years, the Union Government of India has raised a number of curbs on chinese import of toys, many thousands of which reach poor and middle-class Indian homes through illegal routes, mostly sneaking through borders. In Feb. ‘23, there were raids at several branded toy stores including Hamleys where the authorities confiscated toys without requisite approvals.
Hamleys, the British toy chain Hamleys was bought over by Reliance Group in 2019 for Rs. 620 cr. The retail chain has a presence in 18 countries and has over 175 stores, half of which are in India. ToysRUs competes in many global markets with Hamleys and would be similar in India as well. While the starting price of toys at both chains are as low as Rs. 500, the main price points are between Rs. 3,500 – Rs. 9,000. The chains appeal to upper middle class Indian families with higher disposable incomes who do not mind splurging on their little ones.