Sign in to comment!

Interviews

Toys "R" Us CEO talks holiday season shopping outlook

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 30, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST:  Now to the aforementioned CEO of Toys `R` Us.  He doesn`t do very many interviews, because he has got a job to do, but I`m happy to say that he is doing one today.  

Dave Brandon is his name.  

And, again, we were mentioning how optimistic you are over the holiday season.  A lot of your retail brethren are the same way.  Why?  What do you see?

DAVE BRANDON, CEO, TOYS `R` US:  Well, we see the opportunity for great growth in the category, and there`s a lot of excitement, a lot of innovation.  

CAVUTO:  Where?  Where is it?  

BRANDON:  Star Wars, the properties and licenses that are out there.  And there are lot of toys.

CAVUTO:  That`s sort of driving everything.  

BRANDON:  A lot of innovation.  A lot of toys at higher price points, but certainly toys that are exciting in terms of what they`re capable of doing.  

CAVUTO:  How do you decide then?  When you have to -- or look to hire workers, how do you decide how many?  Like, in Amazon`s case, it was 100,000, right?  Kohl`s case, I think around yours, 40,000.  How do you guys factor that?  

BRANDON:  You know, we have been in this business for 65 years.  And we have been through a lot of holiday seasons.  

CAVUTO:  Yes.  

BRANDON:  We have a good sense for where we are in terms of our inventories and our preparedness for business.  We have a good sense for the trends in the dot-com side of the business, as well as bricks and mortar.

And we want to be in a position where when people get in those stores, they get great service, because specialty retailers provide great service.  

CAVUTO:  Yes.  So, you don`t really factor in an Amazon?  Of course, they`re very good online.  That`s been one of the problems that Wal-Mart started to encounter, to get out of their way or find a way to compete with them online themselves.

There`s this fear that Amazon is conquering the world.  

BRANDON:  Yes.  Well, you`re not going to try to out-Amazon Amazon.  They have a very different business model with a very different point of view in terms of the value...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  Well, it`s not as if you`re not online, but yours is the experience.  Right?  

BRANDON:  That`s right.  We`re a specialty retailer.  We`re in this business every day of the year, not just a portion of the year.  It`s who we are.  It`s what our brand stands for.

And we have the advantage of bricks and mortar for those shoppers who want to be part of that experience.  And we also have...

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  Do you like that experience?  Because it seems hellish to me, not just your store.  I just -- that whole experience, especially around the holidays, the crowds, in your case, the screaming kids you have to do with.  Is that -- really?  

BRANDON:  That`s what our business is about.  We`re about toys and families.

And if you wonder whether there`s an emotional connection between people and Toys `R` Us, just take a young child into a Toys `R` Us store and you immediately know what it`s all about.  

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  Yes, they`re not crying.  The parents are, because it`s a real...

BRANDON:  No.

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO:  But -- I kid.

But is it your sense too that the toy retailers are a special case, because we might cut back on ourselves as parents, but we try not to cut back on our kids?

BRANDON:  Sure.  It`s the gift-giving season.  And we really appeal to those children that have put together those wish lists.  And, oh, by the way, we will help them put that wish list together.

CAVUTO:  No, I`m sure you will.  Yes.  

BRANDON:  And parents want to create happiness around the holidays, and we`re in the best position to help them partly to do that.

CAVUTO:  What it hot right now?  You were mentioning Star Wars.  I`m not a fan of that whole series.  No offense to you or -- I just think it`s enough already.  

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO:  But what is selling?  Because this isn`t cheap stuff.  It`s not as cheap as other movie merchandise.  

BRANDON:  Right.  

Well, the Star Wars hype is unbelievable, but the amount of interest in it is also incredible.  

(CROSSTALK)

CAVUTO:  Do you ever think there`s too many things that are out there regarding this movie?  

BRANDON:  We will find out.  We will find out.  But you don`t want to be left behind.  You want that customer to know that you have got a large array of products.

CAVUTO:  Well, what will be super hot that you`re already running out of or that could be the item that will, oh, my God, I need a saber and I can`t find one?  

BRANDON:  Well, we better not be running out of anything right now, because really Halloween will get behind us and then we`re in season.  

CAVUTO:  Yes.  

BRANDON:  We have a very rich inventory.  We have put ourselves in a position where we`re ready to rock and roll for this season both in terms of talented people who will be in the store, but also the product.  

CAVUTO:  Yes.  What about Barbie?  I keep hearing that she`s stumbling, she`s not what she was.  We all age.  

BRANDON:  It`s a great example, because Barbie used to be a simple doll, and today we will be selling in our Toys `R` Us stores a Barbie that jumps on a horse and rides across a room.  

It`s bringing that whole automation, technology in motion to toys.

CAVUTO:  But wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  The Barbie jumps...

BRANDON:  On a horse and will trot across the room, a battery-operated horse and Barbie.  And that`s how you take...

CAVUTO:  What have you done?  What have you done?  

BRANDON:  That`s how you take a property and turn it into relevant in today`s world, because kids are looking for different forms of entertainment than they used to look for.  

CAVUTO:  And high-tech gadgets are always...  

(CROSSTALK)

BRANDON:  Right, gadgets, robotics, voice activation, voice recognition, that`s what this world is all about.

CAVUTO:  Well, then you better pray this movie doesn`t bomb.  

BRANDON:  Well, it`s not all about the movie, thankfully.

CAVUTO:  I understand.  That`s a whole separate issue.

(CROSSTALK)

BRANDON:  ... just Star Wars products.

CAVUTO:  If Barbie was in that -- is there a Star Wars version of Barbie?  
Is there a Star Wars getup?

BRANDON:  There`s a movie version of a lot of toys that you will find in our stores.  

CAVUTO:  Oh, I got you.  I got you.  

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO:  Dave Brandon, he`s the chairman and the CEO of Toys `R` Us.  

You sneak into stores and check out what your customers are doing.  

BRANDON:  A lot.  A lot.  Unannounced.  

CAVUTO:  Unannounced.  That`s scary.

BRANDON:  I want to find out how the customer feels.  

CAVUTO:  I do that to this crew, and it`s nonplused.  They -- yes, Neil is here.  Whatever.  big deal.  

(LAUGHTER)

CAVUTO:  All right.  

END

Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.