TOYS“R”US, INC. LAUNCHES EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM ENCOURAGING PARENTS TO BE VIGILANT ABOUT PRODUCT SAFETY AND KEEP RECORD OF PURCHASES
Program Introduction Coincides with Start of Company’s ‘Great Trade-In’ Event On Friday, August 27, Providing Incentive for Removal of Even More Potentially Unsafe Baby Products; Nearly 200,000 Used Baby Products Returned to “R”Us® Stores Nationwide In Past Year
WAYNE, NJ (August 25, 2010) – Toys“R”Us, Inc. today announced the launch of a new national Product Safety Vigilance Program to provide consumers with proactive steps they can take to become advocates for children’s safety. The program includes “Eight Steps to Keep Kids Safe,” a checklist to help parents stay informed about product recalls, and a Product Record List to assist parents in tracking purchases and gifts. These tools are designed to make relevant product information readily available in the event of a recall so parents and caregivers can act quickly to remove unsafe products from use.
This Product Safety Vigilance Program is launching in conjunction with the Friday, August 27 start of the company’s “Great Trade-In” event, which encourages parents to rid their homes of potentially unsafe items by providing savings on the purchase of a new item in exchange for the return of a used product. This is the third time the company has offered the program at its nearly 850 Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores in the United States within the past year.
Over the past ten years, more than 57 million cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards, high chairs and toddler beds have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to consumer advocacy organization Kids In Danger (KID), in general, less than 30% of affected items are returned when a baby product is recalled, meaning millions of unsafe products could still be in the marketplace.
“Unsafe products that remain in circulation after they’ve been recalled present dangerous risks that could be avoided. The ‘Great Trade-In’ event calls attention to this problem while encouraging parents to scour basements and attics for used products and bring them to our stores,” said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “The Product Safety Vigilance Program builds upon this children’s safety effort by providing parents with ways they can monitor the products in their possession and act with urgency in the event of a recall or when changes to product safety standards render older models unsafe.”
The Product Safety Vigilance Program also will serve to remind parents that in addition to being watchful of the products in their possession, they should carefully monitor those in use at day care centers and friends’ and relatives’ homes and quickly remove recalled products.
Central to the Product Safety Vigilance Program is “Eight Steps to Keep Kids Safe,” a checklist available on the company’s dedicated Safety website, Toysrus.com/Safety, and in-store at the Baby Registry desk. Through the “Eight Steps to Keep Kids Safe,” parents are encouraged to:
Members of the company’s Rewards“R”Us loyalty program who have an active e-mail address on file automatically receive notices if a product they purchased with their membership at an “R”Us store or online has been recalled.
- Register products with the manufacturer so they can be contacted in the event of a recall;
- Track new and past purchases so that they have a quick reference guide of the products in use in their home in the event of a recall;
- Sign up to receive recall notifications from agencies like the CPSC and NHTSA;
- Be mindful of using secondhand products;
- Encourage family members and friends to keep their own record of the juvenile products they use;
- Make sure they know that anyone caring for their children has a process in place for regularly confirming the safety of the children’s products they use;
- Report any concerns with the safety of a product to the proper government agency; and
- Remove any recalled or unsafe products from use immediately.
To help parents gather and track relevant information, a “Product Record List” is available for download on Toysrus.com/Safety, and printed copies are available at the Baby Registry desk in “R”Us® stores nationwide.
“It’s crucial that parents have the most current information available about the products in use in their homes, so they can react quickly and appropriately in the event of a recall,” said Nancy A. Cowles, Executive Director, Kids In Danger. “By providing parents with the tools and resources needed to track important product information and heightening awareness of product recalls, the Toys“R”Us Product Safety Vigilance Program, coupled with the ‘Great Trade-In’ event, are valuable assets to parents and caregivers in their efforts to keep children safe.”
After Nearly 200,000 Used Products Returned to Stores, Company Launches Third ‘Great Trade-In’ Event
The Toys“R”Us, Inc. Product Safety Vigilance Program is being launched in conjunction with the company’s third “Great Trade-In” event, which begins Friday, August 27 and concludes Sunday, September 19. Designed to encourage parents to rid their homes of used and potentially unsafe baby products, this national safety program draws attention to the fact that certain used baby products can carry potential hazards, but are still in circulation and are not the best candidates to be handed down or resold.
The popular “Great Trade-In” events have resulted in nearly 200,000 used and potentially unsafe products being returned to “R”Us stores across the country over the past year. During the two previous events, car seats were the most-returned item, as well as the number one item customers purchased with the savings they received in exchange for their trade-in. This unique trade-in event was also held in Toys“R”Us stores in Canada this year, with thousands of used products returned to stores throughout the program.
During the upcoming three-week “Great Trade-In” event, parents will once again have the opportunity to trade-in used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards, high chairs and toddler beds in exchange for a 25% savings on the purchase of any new baby item, in any of these product categories, from select manufacturers.
The CPSC advocates not purchasing used items that have a history of safety problems, including cribs, play yards and bassinets. Furthermore, used products may have been recalled or recent enhancements in federal and voluntary standards and regulations for safety testing could have rendered older models unsafe or non-compliant with current standards.
Brands participating in the “Great Trade-In” event include Babi Italia®, Baby Cache®, Baby Trend®, Bergamo®, Britax®, Carter’s®, Chicco®, Contours by Kolcraft®, Cosco®, Delta™, Eddie Bauer®, Evenflo®, Graco®, Jeep®, Little Tikes®, Safety 1st®, Sorelle™ and Step2®. Customers can save 25% on a new purchase, from any of the specified product categories and from any of the aforementioned manufacturers, in Babies“R”Us and Toys“R”Us stores nationwide on the day they trade in their used item.
There are no restrictions on the number, brand or condition of used items in these product categories customers can exchange. Day care centers or other organizations who wish to exchange items in bulk are encouraged to contact their local Babies“R”Us or Toys“R”Us store prior to returning their used items to ensure adequate availability of new merchandise.
For the latest information about product safety and to sign up to receive e-mail notifications about product recalls, customers can visit the company’s dedicated Safety website, Toysrus.com/Safety.
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About Toys“R”Us, Inc.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. is the world’s leading dedicated toy and juvenile products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. It currently sells merchandise in more than 1,560 stores, including 847 Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us stores in the United States, and more than 510 international stores and 200 licensed stores in 33 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com, FAO.com and babyuniverse.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys“R”Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need.