// Toys R Us has bolstered its UK team ahead of its relaunch, hiring a team of senior toys buyers
// The buyers join marketing and ecommerce boss Mike Coogan and buying director Diane Lee, both of whom worked for Toys R Us before its collapse, who will lead the relaunch for licence-owner Toys R Us Australia and New Zealand
Toys R US has bolstered its UK team ahead of its relaunch in the country later this year.
Toys R US Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) last year signed a licence agreement to run “digital and physical retail commerce” for the brand in the UK, where Toys R US closed all of its stores after it fell into administration in 2018. It has ramped up its recruitment and plans to relaunch the brand in the “next few months”.
It has hired senior buyer James Ford, who helped build Debenhams’ toys business, for the core Toys R Us business, while Katie Ellis, who has worked for both Toys R Us and Mothercare in the past, and Argos toys buyer Lukasz Jasinski have joined the Babies R US division, according to Toy World.
The new hires join ecommerce and marketing director Mike Coogan, who rejoined Toys R Us’s UK operation in December 2021, having spent 27 years in the same role at the retailer before it collapsed, and buying director Diane Lee, who was hired in January.
Lee had also previously worked at Toys R Us’ UK merchandise director and held roles at Hamleys and Early Learning Centre prior to that.
Toys R Us ANZ, previously called Funtastic, relaunched the toys chain in Australia in 2020.
Toys R Us Australia chief executive Louis Mittoni, who is spearheading the UK launch said: “I’m very excited to welcome over 100 years of retailing experience in our new team, who will lead the relaunch our iconic brand back into the UK market in the next few months. We have an amazing toy and baby buying team, which I believe is the best in the country.
“With this team now in place, we’re hitting the ground running and have been reaching out to the supply base to see with whom we can align on this amazing journey.”