Hamilton investment firm to purchase Toys’R’Us and Babies’R’Us Canada

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Published August 24, 2021 at 9:14 am

A Hamilton-based investment firm, with a reputation for thinking outside the box, has purchased Toys’R’Us and Babies’R’Us Canada.

Last week, Putman Investments, a family-owned company helmed by Ancaster-born-and-raised Doug Putman, confirmed the company’s intention to purchase the chain’s head office in Vaughn and 81 stores across 10 provinces, from ‘affiliates’ of Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.

Fairfax purchased Toys’R’Us and Babies’R’Us Canada three years ago when the chain’s U.S. parent company filed for bankruptcy.

“Toys’R’Us and Babies’R’Us are extremely strong brands that have been in great hands over the past three years,” said Putman in a press release.

“Since its split from the U.S., we’ve watched the way in which the company has grown and focused on the Canadian customer. Much has been achieved and we’re excited to help to drive the business forward.”

Putman is no stranger to the toy business as he and his family own and operate Everest Toys in Ancaster, one of the largest toy, game, gift manufacturers and distributors, in North America.

He has earned a reputation for transforming struggling retail spaces into profitable endeavors and has made international headlines in recent years for his purchase of several high-profile struggling music retailers — including HMV and Sunrise Records — and turning them around.

Late last year, Putman transformed and rebranded 45 shuttered David’s Tea locations in Canada into T. Kettle, with plans for the brand’s further expansion across the country.

Toys’R’Us and Babies’R’Us Canada currently employ just under 5,000 people at its 81 stores and at its head office.

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