Wayne, N.J. – Toys “R” Us is planning to bring its U.S. e-commerce operations back in-house for the first time in 15 years.
The initiative, part of the company’s broader, multiyear “TRU Transformation” strategy, is intended to “optimize our e-commerce business and significantly improve the customer experience online,” said chief digital officer Fred Argir.
The No. 1 toy chain launched Toysrus.com in 1998 and two years later outsourced site development, order fulfillment and customer service to Amazon.com. That partnership ended in 2006, and the retailer moved its online platform to GSI Commerce – acquired by eBay Enterprise in 2011 – which also provides e-commerce platforms for Sony, sports leagues and other national chains.
Toys “R” Us hopes to complete the latest move by the end of next summer and will continue to work with the eBay unit in the interim to ensure a “seamless transition.”
Under the plan, the toy chain will build and manage a new e-commerce platform for its Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com and FAO.com websites to provide “the flexibility needed to grow and expand in an omni-channel world while allowing us to rapidly respond to changing customer dynamics,” Argir said.
“We believe it is in our best interest to manage and control all aspects of our e-commerce platform as we move forward,” he added.
It recently announced plans to close by next week its famed FAO Schwarz store near New York’s Central Park, and Fortune reported that a rent hike is forcing the chain out of its 110,000-square-foot flagship location in Times Square, to be replaced by Gap and Old Navy stores.