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All About The Big Boy Toys

Off the Cuff

Jerry Storch can easily imagine what he would be doing if he wasn't the chairman and CEO of Toys 'R Us, the world's largest toy retailer. He would be writing, writing, and writing some more, he said.

"It's always been a struggle in life trying to [think], do I write? Do I do a 'real' job?" he said on "Off The Cuff", "I've sketched some things down over the last 20 years and I'm ready to get going."

But that project may have to wait a little longer. At the moment, Storch is working hard to strengthen Toys 'R' Us position as both a toy and baby products authority.

Since taking the helm of Toys 'R Us in 2009, Storch has expanded the company's ecommerce business through acquisitions of online brands, such as eToys.com, KB Toys, and Toys.com. He also obtained the exclusive right to own and operate high-end toy retailer FAO Schwarz and FAO.com.

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More recently, acquisitions have focused on broadening the company's reach overseas. Last year, Toys 'R' Us purchased most of the stake of its venture in South East Asia and Greater China, and it opened two more stores in China. It also opened its first store in Poland.

Despite these international endeavors, Storch said he prefers to spend his personal time not traveling at all. Given some free time, he said, "I'd probably stay home, watch a lot of television, read some books… and then take long walks."

Storch also values his toys. His job gives him a chance to test out the latest radio-controlled helicopters, and he enjoys playing Carrom, a table game of Eastern origin that has similarities with billiards and shuffleboard. Then, there are the more grown-up toys.

"When I was first dating my wife, we went to see a movie and there was a sports car in it," Storch said. "I'd never seen any car like it, so I went out the next day and bought that sports car… it's certainly gotten its value over the course of [14 years]."

On the job, Storch enjoys walking around the stores, a task that offers him plenty of exercise and a chance to connect with Toys 'R Us employees at the retailers' 875 U.S. locations and 625 stores outside the U.S.

"The happiest days of my life are when I get to tell someone that they are going to get a promotion and a raise… and they're all excited about the opportunities that await them," he said.
But there is one phone that will stop him in his tracks. "I try to give [my children] as much time as possible," he said. "Their phone call to me is as important as any work call that I might take."

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