E-commerce major Flipkart said its wholesale entity in India has formed a joint venture with Ace Turtle to bring Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us to its platform. The joint venture company has secured licensing rights for Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us in India through a strategic arrangement with WHP Global - the controlling shareholder of Toys"R"Us, a statement said.
Details of the joint venture were not disclosed. "With this arrangement, the world's most loved and trusted toy and baby brands, Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us, will now be available to consumers online through sellers in India," the statement said.
For over 70 years, Toys"R"Us has been a global leader in the toy category. It generated more than $2 billion in global retail sales annually through nearly 900 branded stores and e-commerce businesses in over 25 countries. Flipkart will utilise its reach and expertise in technology and customer experiences, coupled with Ace Turtle's omni-channel technology enabling buy-online and ship from store/pick up from store, endless-aisle, and other technological innovations, it noted.
"The collective expertise of Flipkart and Ace Turtle establishes them as the partner of choice for Toys"R"Us's business growth in India. This launch will strengthen Toys"R"Us's brand presence and business, and further contribute to India's growing toy sector," it added. This strategic arrangement will endeavour to create new and exciting growth opportunities for local toys' manufacturers/sellers in India, including MSMEs, it said.
The Walmart-owned company said its platform recorded growth of close to 100 per cent in 2020 with consumers shopping online for their toys and baby care needs as they continue to stay indoors.
"India is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world with real spending power among a rapidly growing population. We look forward to working closely with Flipkart and the Ace Turtle team to build Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us into the leading destination for toy and baby products in India," Yehuda Shmidman, Chairman and CEO at WHP Global and Toys"R"Us said.
Flipkart Group Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy said with the Toys"R"Us global standard of quality, Indian consumers will now have access to many toys and babycare products.
"As a homegrown platform, we are constantly striving to build meaningful partnerships that are centred around the needs of our users. We are focused on ensuring that our users across India have access to a wide range of quality products made available by brands and sellers on our platform," Flipkart Group CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said.
This partnership with Ace Turtle and WHP Global will see both firms bringing the best of their domain knowledge and expertise to innovate and provide customer-centric product selections that have value and quality at the core, he said adding that the partnership will also encourage efforts to grow the toy manufacturing industry in India.
Nitin Chhabra, CEO of Ace Turtle, said Toys"R"Us is the world's leading toy brand, and that the partnership will help deliver future-ready consumer experience across online to offline.
According to industry data, India's toy industry is predominantly unorganised, comprising about 4,000 small and medium enterprises. Earlier this year, the government had organised a toy fair intending to make India a global hub for the production and the sourcing of toys, in turn boosting the economic engines for the sector.