NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Toysrus.com, the Internet commerce site of Toys "R" Us, said Monday it is adding new offices on the East and West coasts, and hiring new employees to help staff those facilities.
The announcement from Woodcliff Lake, N.J.-based Toysrus.com is the latest of several steps the company has taken in recent months to bolster its customer service after experiencing widely publicized glitches last December.
In August, the company will occupy two floors of the Parker Plaza building in Fort Lee, N.J., totaling 46,000 square feet, and expects to have more than 240 employees working there by 2001, officials said. The new offices are near the Toys "R" Us (TOY: Research, Estimates) headquarters in Paramus.
One of the top U.S. toy retailers, Toys "R" Us posted more than $11 billion in sales in 1999 and operates 1,553 stores worldwide.
In addition, the company is about to finalize a lease for a San Francisco office.
"We are aggressively recruiting top industry talent and expect to double our employee base within the next year," said Jonathan Foster, chief operating officer for Toysrus.com. "Having operations near Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley will base us in the heart of the world's top Internet business communities."
Although rated the top online toy company in terms of unique visitors by some e-commerce research firms, the company experienced widely publicized problems fulfilling an overwhelming crush of orders in the weeks before Christmas.
Since then, the company has obtained the backing of Japanese venture capital firm Softbank and in April, 2001, plans to open 1.9 million square-feet of warehouse space with distribution centers in Mira Loma, Calif., and Chambersburg, Pa.
"While others are pulling out of this market and pure plays such as eToys are under the gun to turn a profit sooner than you think, the current environment clearly favors the clicks and bricks such as Toys "R" Us," said Margaret Whitfield, an analyst with Tucker Anthony Cleary Gull.
Whitfield recently raised its rating of Toys "R" Us to "outperform" from "hold" due to the Web site's efforts at focusing on fulfillment, and on the strength of its new chief executive officer, John Eyler, formerly the head of FAO Schwarz.
Shares of Toys "R" Us were up 3/8 to16-13/16 in trading Monday.