North America’s favourite toy brand Toys’R’ has forayed into the Indian market, with Tablez India opening the first store in Phoenix Market City. In an exclusive conversation with Indian Retailer, Tablez India MD Adeeb Ahamed says the store is a quintessential store for babies and kids. With large expansion plans, Adeeb says 65 stores will open in India in the next 10 years.
Why did you decide to open the first Indian store in Bengaluru?
We understand that with many Bengalureans travelling to foreign countries, especially America, the familiarity of this brand is widespread here when compared to other tier I cities or states. Hence, it made sense for us to launch the store in Bengaluru with the stocks in par with the American collection. Those who have visited the store in USA will know that most of the stocks here are similar to what you find in the American store. Without worrying about customs or taxes, customers can do hassle-free shopping here.
How is the toy retail industry in India placed?
It’s largely a disorganized market and only major brands like us can make it an organized sector. With more big brands coming in, the sector will also improve accordingly. As India is the fastest growing market for toys retail, we are expecting a growth rate of 15-20% annually.
What are your expansion plans?
We are in an exclusive master franchise agreement with the parent company Toys Pvt Ltd. We plan to launch 65 stores in the next 10 years in India and it will all be owned and operated by us. By the end of this financial year, we will be present in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai.
What are your offline expansion strategies?
For now, we will only be focusing on brick and mortar because we want our outlets to be experience stores. We want to ignite imagination and creativity in kids and give them an opportunity to play with toys in the store. The e-commerce marketplace is a different ball game and now we will only focus on the in-store experience.
Hamleys is now open in Bengaluru too. How do you see the competition?
Hamleys is already present in more than 19 cities in India. The response to international toy retail is fairly large and many international brands are coming to Bengaluru. We have a wide range of experimental and educational toys and I am sure we will attract a large fan base.