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Toysrus.com closes site, makes way for Amazon

The two companies launch their joint Web site as part of a deal announced last month to join forces in the online toy market.

    Toysrus.com has closed its Web site and opened the doors to its new relationship with Amazon.com.

    Late last night, the two companies launched their joint Web site as part of a deal announced last month. Toysrus.com customers are now being redirected to the companies' co-branded toy store, which is located at Amazon.

    "This is a huge deal. We continue to work on ironing out details," said Amazon spokeswoman Ling Hong.

    The launch comes a month after the two companies announced their agreement to join forces in the online toy market. Amazon is in charge of the Web site development and order fulfillment for the new store, while Toysrus.com will buy and manage the inventory.

    Toysrus.com customers will have to register as Amazon customers in order to buy goods from the new site. Hong said the companies did not want to be "presumptuous" about moving customer data around.

    "We respect (customers') privacy," Hong said.

    Like other Amazon customers, people who want to return purchased items from the new store will have to send them back to Amazon. Although Toysrus.com customers used to be able to return toys bought online to Toys "R" Us' offline stores, Hong said she does not think the change will confuse customers. For now, Amazon does not have any plans to allow in-store returns at Toys "R" Us.

    "If customers want to be able to return goods to a store, that's something we'll explore," she said.

    The relaunch is only the latest chapter in Toysrus.com's history. The e-tail arm of giant Toys "R" Us struggled through much of its two years of solo e-tail operations. The site lagged behind eToys in holiday sales, lost its designated chief executive, saw a high-profile investment from Benchmark Capital fall through and had difficulties fulfilling holiday orders.