Toys R Us Asia has detailed its plans to open three stores in Hong Kong and ‘dozens more in mainland China,’ according to a report from the South China Morning Post.
The announcement was made during an interview with Jo Hall, Toys R Us Asia’s chief commercial officer for Greater China and Southeast Asia during the second annual toy fair in Hong Kong.
Hall has been cited as stating that ‘the recession-proof nature of the demand for toys, the right store locations and a fresh offering of not only toys but fun and educational experiences for the whole family are key to the success of the Asia business.’
A separate entity to the ill-fated US Toys R Us arm, Toys R Us Asia is backed by Hong Kong tycoon Victor Fung Kwok-king’s Fung Retailing Group. Toys R Us Asia currently has 13 stores in Hong Kong.
“We are cautiously optimistic,” said Hall. “We continue to invest in refurbishing existing and opening new stores, and our investment budget in Hong Kong [for stores, information technology and online commerce] this year is the same as last year.”
When asked if the US-China trade war and economic slowdown had hit sales, Hall declined to comment. Toys R Us Asia currently operates more than 550 stores across the region, and has 182 stores in mainland China.
The retailer completed its separation from the indebted former US parent in November last year. It plans to open 60 new stores in the region in 2019, most of them in China - it’s biggest growth market, besides Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
The company is also seeking opportunities in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia.