American toy and juvenile-products retailer Toys “R” Us Inc. posted a decline in holiday sales for at least the third year in a row. Its same-store sales for the nine weeks through January 4 fell 2.7% as the chain used fewer promotions to protect profitability. Revenue by that measure declined 5% in the US, where it generates about 60% of its sales.
Toys “R” Us shook up management in 2013 after holiday sales sank by naming Antonio Urcelay as CEO replacing Jerry Storch.
The company also hired Hank Mullany, a former executive at Walmart Stores Inc., to run its US operations. He joined the chain in November 2013, so this was his first chance to create a plan for the all-important holiday season. His strategy focused on matching prices, adding more benefits to the chain’s loyalty programme that has 18 million members and making stores easier to shop. The store improvements also included speeding up checkout lines, cleaning locations more often, adding signs and brightening the lights.