KB Toys

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K•B Toys
Formerly called
Kay-Bee Toy & Hobby
Industry Toy store
Fate Bankruptcy Liquidation
Founded 1922 (1922) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Founders Harry and Joseph Kaufman[1]
Defunct February 2009 (2009-02)
Headquarters Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Number of locations
431 (prior to closing)
Products Children toys and games
Number of employees
4,300 (prior to closing)


K·B Toys (previously known as Kay Bee Toys[when?]) was a chain of mall-based retail toy stores in the United States. Founded in 1922, it operated, at its height, 1300 stores across all 50 states, and went out of business in 2009. International retailer Toys "R" Us acquired the remains of K·B Toys, consisting mainly of its website, trademarks, and intellectual property rights.[2]

Operations[edit]

Founded in 1922 by the Kaufman brothers, K·B operated 605 stores in 44 U.S. states, Puerto Rico as well as Guam. It was privately held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. K·B Toys was owned by Melville Corporation (which was responsible for its CVS/Pharmacy chain), but that company sold it to Consolidated Stores in 1996. It was also the second-oldest operating toy retailer in North America (behind FAO Schwarz) before its demise.

Starting in 2001, KB Toys opened temporary "stores within a store" at select Sears department stores during the Christmas season.[3][4]

At the time of its liquidation, K·B Toys operated three distinct store formats: K·B Toys, K·B Toy Works (the result of a merger between KB Toys and The Toy Works), and K·B Toys Outlet (aka Toy Liquidators). K·B Toys stores were mostly found in the company's traditional base of shopping malls, where many of its stores were located for years. K·B Toy Works stores were typically found in outdoor strip malls. K·B Toys Outlet and Toy Liquidators stores, as the name implies, were usually found in outlet centers/malls. At their largest, K·B operated over 1300 stores and were found in all 50 states.

Liquidation[edit]

K·B closed 156 stores on November 8, 2007 to leave the chain with 1,144 stores.

Following the company's second bankruptcy in five years, the chain began going-out-of-business sales in December 2008. The store closing sales (as well as the termination of the company's website) were concluded on February 9, 2009.[5]

The K·B Toys brand and related intangible assets were sold by Streambank LLC to Toys "R" Us on September 4, 2009, for a reported $2.1 million. Because K·B Toys' 460 stores had been closed and liquidated, the sale applies mainly to the company's logo, website, and trademarks/intellectual properties. Toys "R" Us remains unsure of how the K·B name will fit into its future business plan.[2] So far, Toys "R" Us uses the K·B Toys name on self-manufactured toys under the name "KB Classics" with the K·B Toys logo.

Slogans[edit]

  • "America's Toy Store"
  • "Hot We Got, at KB"
  • "The Toy Store in the Mall"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, Jenn (15 October 2005). "Former KB Toys owner dies". The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Pereira, Joseph; John Kell (September 4, 2009). "Toys 'R' Us Buys KB Toys' Brand". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  3. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/2001/sep/20/business/fi-47678
  4. ^ http://www.deseretnews.com/article/515037163/KB-Toys-in-Sears-for-holidays.html?pg=all
  5. ^ Brickley, Peg (December 11, 2008). "K·B Toys Faces Liquidation". Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 

External links[edit]