In Brief: Toys ‘R’ Us has a new owner

Plus, Zulu promotes two creative directors and Faulhaber grows both its talent and client roster.
ToysRUsOntario4

Sunrise Records owner buys Toys ‘R’ Us Canada

Putman Investments, a new investment fund created by Doug Putman, has acquired Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ’R’ Us Canada from Fairfax Financial.

While Putman Investments will now own the brand’s retail operations, Fairfax will retain ownership of any real estate holdings, which it pointed to as an ongoing revenue stream in a release.

Fairfax bought Toys ‘R’ Us Canada in 2018 when it was spun off from Toys ‘R’ Us’s U.S. operations as it worked through bankruptcy proceedings. At the time of the acquisition, the company said its Canadian operations had been profitable for a decade despite the struggles of its parent company. Putman said in a release that the company has continued to grow and improve its customer experience since then. There are currently 81 Toys ‘R’ Us locations across Canada, only one less than when Fairfax acquired the company, despite the struggles many retailers have faced during the pandemic.

Putman is already in the toy business, owning Everest Toys and Alex Brands. He also previously bought Sunrise Records in 2014 and oversaw an expansion kick-started by the purchase of former HMV locations in 2017.

Zulu adds to its roster of CDs

Zulu Alpha Kilo has two new creative directors, having promoted ACDs Dan Cummings and Vic Bath.

Cummings joined the agency in 2018 from Cundari, with Bath coming on the following year from Rethink. During their time at Zulu, their work has included the “Tough Turban” for Pfaff Harley Davidson, in addition to work for Harry Rosen, Subaru and Homequity Bank.

“We can always count on Dan and Vic to create game-changing, innovative work for our clients. They have the creative bravery to propose ideas that sometimes seem impossible to produce, but they have the tenacity to find a way to bring them to life,” said agency founder and CCO Zak Mroueh.

Faulhaber makes senior hires after half-dozen client wins

Toronto-based Faulhaber Communications is investing in talent and expanding services across its digital and PR departments.

New talent at the agency includes Cindy La, as director of digital; Kevin Pacheco in the new role of director for Quebec; Mona Liu as senior account executive; and Angela Chau as content and community manager.

The new hires come on the heels of six new additions to Faulhaber’s client roster: Korean beauty brand Innisfree; Kate Austin Design; bridal designer Grace Loves Lace; craft confectionery brand Bruce County Nut & Fudge; premium bedding brand SmartSilk; and kids eyewear brand MeSquad.

With files from Patti Summerfield.