KB Toys Could Replace Toys R Us; How About a Bismarck Location?
Recently, it's been announced that all Toys R Us stores will be closing nationwide. A former toy store conglomerate, KB Toys, is looking to make a comeback and take its place. Can we get one in Bismarck?
Back in September, Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy and it was reported last week that all 800 stores in the United States will be closing. Unfortunately, that also means roughly 33,000 employees will be out of a job soon. However, the Bismarck-Mandan area will not be affected, given there isn't a soon-to-be-extinct Toys R Us here, currently.
However, one (former) toy chain is attempting to make a return to the scene and potentially replace Toys R Us. KB Toys closed for good back in 2009. But the former toy retailer within shopping malls is currently working on a strategy for a comeback. Strategic Mars LLC, which buys defunct companies so that they may revitalize the brand, now owns KB Toys. Strategic Mars LLC founder Ellia Kassoff said in a recent interview:
Many of you asked what our plans will be and all we can say is we spent the last six months working on a sustainable model to bring back KB Toys the right way so it can compete with not only the big box stores but on-line as well...we’re not just restarting the only other well-known and loved toy chain in the US but hope to find places for those 33,000 jobs which will be lost as Toys R Us closes.
This is fantastic news for everyone, including those that will be put out of a job.
So, hypothetically, what if KB Toys came to Bismarck?
Growing up in the metropolitan St. Louis, MO area as a kid, there was KB Toys store in every mall around the city (it read Kay-Bee back then). Those stores were my absolute favorite things about shopping malls when I was growing up. And yes, I was a nerd. I played with all the typical action figures of G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Batman, and Star Wars (sometimes I kept those boxed for collectors' item purposes). I would also get Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars and play with every single Nerf toy that I could possibly find on the shelf. They had EVERYTHING!
It was beyond exciting at the time. KB Toys was my favorite place in the world when I was a kid (or at least until I discovered sports).
That being said, in a world where awesome things happen, I'm sure kids in Bismarck would love to get a KB Toys store once the company returns.
Strategic Marks has said they'd like to open 1,000 pop-up stores by the time Black Friday and the holiday shopping season hits. So, how about bringing one to Bismarck, ND?