Toys 'R Us CEO: Parents Spending More on 'Wow' Gifts


Consumers appear to be willing to spend a little more this year to get that "wow" gift, Toys 'R Us Chairman and CEO Jerry Storch told CNBC Friday.

The toy retailer was one of the first national retailers to open for the annual Black Friday shopping frenzy, with its stores opening their doors nationwide at 10 p.m.on Thursday.

Storch said lines were long with hundreds—and in some cases, more than 1,000—people lining up to start shopping last night.

"We are being very aggressive this Black Friday," Storch said in a live interview. "Black Friday is all about value, and we're sure offering it."

Toys 'R Us has fared better than other retailers during the last few holidays as parents are often hesistant to cut back on toys for their children. But if Storch is correct, there may be a bit more discretionary spending this holiday season.

The company also has done a lot to win business. Not only did the company extend its store hours for Black Friday, the traditional kick-off of the holiday season, but it also more than doubled its footprint by opening pop-up storesin shopping malls around the country.

Toys 'R Us had done this last year, but on a much smaller scale. About one-third of those pop-up stores remained open after the holiday season, and Storch anticipates that the same thing could occur again after this year's holidays.

If that proves true, it would significantly expand the number of stores Toys 'R Us operates.

Storch also denied allegations leveled by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union and an environmental justice group that the toy retailer is selling "toxic toys" containing polyvinyl chloride, which has been linked to cancer and other ailments.

Storch said the groups are using "junk science" and have an other agenda in mind in raising this issue.

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