Why China is a parallel universe for toy retailers like Toys R Us

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Retailers are betting big on China’s burgeoning toy market as household names like Toys R Us file for bankruptcy in North America.

The end of China’s one-child policy, combined with a lack of consumer confidence in product-safety, mean that Chinese parents are flocking to toy stores and American retailers want a piece of the action, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Toys R Us Asia is one of the starkest examples of the difference between the Chinese toy retail market and North America’s: while sales for the Asian division totaled $375 million for a 3 percent increase year-over-year, the U.S. business’ sales fell 3 percent in the same period.

After Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, Toys R Us Asia made a deal with creditors to continue operations and is now planning to open 50 new stores.

Other toymakers getting in the game by setting up stores in China include Lego Group, FAO Schwarz and ThreeSixty Group. Bloomberg Intelligence forecasts the market for toys and games in the country will be the largest in the world by 2022. [Chicago Tribune] — Erin Hudson

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