Neil Friedman previously was the president of toy company Mattel Brands.
Stefany Moore , Senior Editor, Research
Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. has hired Neil Friedman as the multichannel retailer’s new president.
Friedman, formerly president of Mattel Brands, will oversee merchandising, marketing, sourcing and product development for the toy retailer’s e-commerce sites and 866 U.S. bricks-and-mortar stores.
“Toys ‘R’ Us is one of the most beloved retail brands in the world, and I am excited by this opportunity to build on its unique strengths,” Friedman says.
Friedman worked 14 years for Mattel. Before that, he held executive positions at Tyco, Just Toys, Gerber Products, Lionel Leisure Inc. and Hasbro. He will report to CEO Gerald Storch.
“Neil has extensive knowledge of, and has made significant contributions to, the toy and juvenile product businesses throughout his career,” Storch says. “We look forward to working with Neil to further our growth strategy as we continue to advance our authority and specialist positions through our many initiatives ahead.”
Last month, Toys ‘R’ Us agreed to settle lawsuits in which it was accused of pressuring suppliers to not sell to online retailers that undercut the retail chain’s prices.
Toys ‘R’ Us, No. 37 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide, operates ToysRUs.com, BabiesRUs.com, eToys.com, BabyUniverse.com and FAO.com. For the fiscal year ending January 29, 2010, the retailer reported $782 million in web sales, up 29.9% from $602 million in 2009. Total sales increased 2.2% to $13.86 billion from $13.56 billion in the prior year.