business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From USA Today:

"Toys R Us is still trying to make a comeback following the chain's seeming demise five years ago – this time by opening its second brick-and-mortar location in the largest mall in the U.S.

"The toy superstore's parent company WHP Global announced a partnership Monday with Go! Retail Group to open a new Toys R Us store inside Minnesota's Mall of America. Once open, the location will be the second flagship store for the iconic toy brand after a similar store opened last year at American Dream, a retail and entertainment complex in New Jersey."

The story notes that "the new flagship store is the latest sign of life from a 70-year-old brand that once appeared destined for obsolescence."

I wouldn't bet the farm that this resurgence is going to work in any sort of broad way.  There may be room for a few flagship stores, but it is hard to imagine that these stores could dot the landscape the way they used to;  there are just too many other options.  I'm not even sure that the brand has the kind of equity that deserves a rebirth - Toys R Us was one of the most soul-sucking shopping experiences around.

•  The Container Store announced that it will begin carrying the Caraway cookware line in some 80 of its stores around the country, bringing the formerly direct-to-consumer brand into a physical retail environment.

The move is part of a broader effort to bolster the company's SKU count - and, it hopes, sales the profitability - by bringing D2C into its mix.

Strikes me that while cookware may be a slight stretch for the format, it is pretty much on brand.  By partnering with a D2C brand, it can offer what it calls "innovative, sought-after brands" that are not available at other retailers.