Tru Kids Brands, the parent company of the Toys “R” Us brand, and b8ta have named toy industry veteran Jamie Uitdenhowen as president of Toy Retail Showrooms, the new joint venture that operates and manages Toys “R” Us stores in the U.S.
In his new role, Uitdenhowen will oversee the day-to-day business operations, new experiential store development, and vendor partnerships leading up to the brand’s U.S. relaunch this fall and beyond.
Uitdenhowen joins Toys “R” Us from Party City, where he served as chief merchandising officer, managing all merchandising, planning, and pricing activities for the company’s North American business. Prior to that, he served as vice president, general manager for Toys “R” Us Inc., overseeing all merchandising decisions for Toys “R” Us before the company shut down.
“This is an exciting time for the company as we get closer to bringing back Toys “R” Us stores to the U.S. this holiday season. Having already worked with Jamie for many years, I am confident that his retail experience and leadership will have a significant impact on our success in the U.S. as we work to rebuild this beloved brand,” said Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids and interim co-CEO of the new Toys “R” Us joint venture.
“Having previously worked with Jamie, I’m excited for his return to the Toys “R” Us team. His knowledge of the industry and vision for building a dynamic experience for kids and families, make him the ideal fit for our business moving forward,” said Phillip Raub, co-founder and president of b8ta and interim co-CEO of the new Toys “R” Us joint venture.
Two new Toys “R” Us stores will open this holiday season in Houston, Texas and Paramus, New Jersey. Brand partners for the new stores, which will feature multiple interactive experiences, have yet to be announced.