KB Toys Brand Owner Vows to “Save Toy Industry”
The wake isn’t only being felt by millions of kids, grown-ups with a sense of nostalgia have been looking back fondly at the days when getting a toy meant one of two things: it came from Santa Claus or it came from Toys R Us. While the former finds himself gainfully employed all year ‘round, the latter is closing all of its stores, and has even shut down its website. Now Strategic Marks/Leaf Brands, a company that specializes in reviving old brands (including these cookies and online versions of old department stores), is looking to bring back KB Toy, an old mall staple. The CEO says the brand could be back in service by the holiday season 2018. In a post on LinkedIn, Strategic Marks’s CEO Ellia Kassoff said the company is looking at why KB failed the first time around “to make sure those mistakes won’t be made again.”
“Watching the Evolution of Physical Retail has been Inspiring”
After enduring many prognosticators report the collapse of retail and herald the birth and supposed superiority of online shopping, the headlines in 2018 are starting to turn. Some retailers have made shrewd business choices, adapted technology in creative ways and employed marketing techniques to reign their customers in, creating more than just a mall – but lifestyle centers that are the hub of everything. Forbes.com contributor Tom McGee, President and CEO of ICSC, noted recently how online brands see the advantages of establishing their own brick-and-mortar locations and how existing shopping centers have been focusing on “creating a powerful and lasting shopping experience.” McGee cited several reasons for the growth, but also discussed future additions that will propel retail forward, including the addition of electric vehicle charging stations, artificial intelligence to aid consumers in shopping, and increases in knowledgeable customer service staff. “While digital interactivity is playing a bigger role in the shopper’s experience, customers still want that personal touch from a knowledgeable salesperson.”.
The Mall’s Dream: Your Customers are Right Across the Street
If your customer base was right within arm’s length, you’d be pretty happy. The Westchester mall could soon be experiencing that, part of the trend to blend downtown living spaces with retail and entertainment centers. According to the Westchester Business Journal, the city of White Plains recently approved a $120 million project that would put a few shops and hundreds of apartments right across the street. “This is what adds value to homes in a downtown now, people want to walk to things,” said White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach. Known as “The Collection” the project will replace a group of mostly vacant single-story retail buildings on three acres.