Child World says Toys 'R' Us is dirtying diaper deal

September 19, 1991|By Eben Shapiro | Eben Shapiro,New York Times News Service p

Diaper raids are rocking toyland, and babes are nowhere in sight.

Child World, it seems, offered a deal on disposable diapers that some at Toys 'R' Us could not resist. And now the two toy rivals are lobbing charges at each other.

Child World Inc., which is struggling to lure back customers after a brush or two with bankruptcy, is complaining that Toys 'R' Us Inc. is taking advantage of a promotion at Child World to stock up on diapers, baby food and formula at bargain-basement prices.

For every $100 of diapers and other items purchased at Child World in September, customers receive certificates worth 25 percent off a similar purchase in October. Bags of the diapers in the promotion cost $8.99 and $9.99.

Child World said that employees at Toys 'R' Us were "systematically abusing" its promotion. It said Toys 'R' Us employees were buying large quantities of Child World's diapers and other products priced just above cost and then reselling the merchandise at Toys 'R' Us.

By buying more diapers next month using the discount, Toys 'R' Us will be buying diapers below cost, Child World said.

W. John Devine, chief executive of Child World, said that Toys 'R' Us would get up to $300,000 in discounts. "This is not money intended for Toys 'R' Us. This was meant for bona fide customers," he said.

Angela Bourdon, a spokeswoman for Toys 'R' Us, said such opportunistic shopping was common. "It's not unusual to take advantage of opportunities as they arise," she said.

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