Wednesday, June 11, 2008

KB toys

this was a project i did my senior year.

KB Toys is the nation’s largest combined mall-based and online specialty toy retailer operating more than 1,300 stores in four formats within all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the American Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. KB also offers Online Shopping at

KB Toys' world headquarters in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, provides its stores with vital support in all areas. Our more than 400 Home Office associates come from a variety of backgrounds and bring a wealth of skills and knowledge to staff functions such as buying, store operations, finance, distribution, human resources, purchasing, marketing and information systems.

How did we get started you might ask. that’s a very good question: KB Toys' history dates back to 1922 when the company was founded as a wholesale confectionery business, known as Kaufman Brothers (that would be such a cool band name). In the beginning, the company sold candy and soda fountain supplies to New England-area merchants. During the 1940s, a toy wholesaler who purchased candy from Kaufman Brothers ( K.B, get it? haha) offered the toy company as payment for debts outstanding to Kaufman Brothers. Wanting to diversify due to the shortages of key ingredients for the production of candy during World War II, Kaufman Brothers agreed to assume operation of the company and change the company's name to K-B Toy & Hobby Stores(say that 5 times fast).

By 1948, the toy side of the business had far out-paced the confectionery business, and management decided to concentrate solely on the toy business. In 1959, again to diversify, Kaufman Brothers opened its first retail toy store in Winsted, Connecticut. Additional stores were opened in the following years, and soon it became apparent that the retail business offered greater opportunities and profitability than did the wholesale business(take that Geoffrey).

In 1973, the Kaufman Brothers boogied down to some groovy music holding their afros in place with Aquanet hairspray =]. Ooo, they also managed to open 26 stores. The Kaufman Brothers discontinued its wholesale business and began operating exclusively as a toy and hobby retailer. The company began opening stores in enclosed mall shopping centers at an accelerated pace. By 1976 K-B Toy & Hobby had grown to 65 stores in New England, New York and New Jersey, and in 1977 changed its name to Kay-Bee Toy and Hobby Shops (big change), Inc., to distinguish the company from other toy companies with names designated with initials (uhh huuuh…?).

In 1981, Kay-Bee, with 210 stores, changed its name to Kay-Bee Toy Stores, and became a subsidiary of Rye, New York-based Melville Corporation. Since that time, three major acquisitions have dramatically increased the Kay-Bee chain: the 52-store Toy World chain in 1982; the 330-store Circus World Toys chain in 1990; and the 133-store K & K Toys chain in 1991.

Kay-Bee was sold in May 1996 by Melville Corporation to the multi-billion dollar Columbus, Ohio-based Consolidated Stores Corporation, a leading retailer and wholesaler of closeout merchandise. Kay-Bee Toy Stores name and logo officially changed to KB Toys in late 1996. Consolidated merged its Toy Liquidators and The Amazing Toy Store stores into KB Toys.

KB Toys celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 1997. KB Toys launched its website,, in April 1997, which featured the latest information on hot toys, great values and special promotions available at KB's more than 1,300 retail stores nationwide. In November 1998, the website expanded to offer an online shopping , which provides a unique selection of high quality toys, collectibles and limited edition exclusives, some of which are not generally available in stores.

In December 2000, KB Toys again became a privately held company through a management buyout funded by Bain Capital, Inc. The new company includes all KB Toys divisions including: KB Toys, KB Toy Works, KB Toy Outlet/Toy Liquidator, and KB Toy Express; and online businesses, and

In April 2001, KB Toys further expanded its online presence by launching The website focuses on serving the underserved market for wholesale and closeout toys, offering convenient, online access to low-priced merchandise in case pack quantities.

Also in April 2001, KB Toys acquired key assets of as part of eToys’ bankruptcy proceedings. Liquidated inventory representing more than $40 million in merchandise at retail prices was purchased for a substantially discounted price.

KB Toys acquired additional eToys’ assets in May 2001. These assets include intellectual property, such as eToys’ trade names, logos, URLs and trademarks; and services.
Global or local: global

In October of 2005, KB Toys did something that changed the world… they hired Andrew Meissner, a hard working 16 year old. Andrew likes long walks on the beach, chocolate flips, Harry Potter, movies, reading, art, and talking. Since the entering of Meissner, or as he was known: Bazaro Tom ( long story ) the world of KB changed…for the better of course.

Okay, well what about the goods? You know…the toooys sucka!! Over the years, they have established excellent working relationships with some of the best-known names in toy manufacturing including Mattel, Disney, Hasbro, Fisher-Price, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Tiger, Bandai, Sony and Nintendo. KB Toys also develops exclusive toys available only at KB and has established a following of collectors who seek KB Toys' limited edition, special merchandise.

Wanna be a KB soldier? Careful selection and training of our field associates is all part of providing our customers with a positive shopping experience. A comprehensive field training process has been successful in preparing associates to manage our unique business and serve the needs of the customer. From the regional vice-presidents and district sales managers to store managers and assistant managers to store associates -- our field personnel know how to serve customers in an efficient, friendly manner( why usually talks about the customers when they leave ^_^ ).

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