Toys R Us Pushes Ahead With Retail Comeback, to Open 24 New Stores
Toys R Us is plotting a bold comeback in the U.S., as it plans to expand its brick-and-mortar presence with as many as 24 new flagship stores and a separate rollout at airports and on cruise ships starting this holiday season. The toy retailer’s parent company, WHP Global, announced what it called the “Air, Land and Sea” expansion on Friday. Toys R Us aims to start opening the up-to-two-dozen flagship stores as early as next year in partnership with Go! Retail Group. The company plans to roll out the locations in “prime cities” that complement its current retail footprint, WHP said.
Total Retail's Take: This has the chance to be one of the more unlikely yet inspiring stories in the retail industry. Toys R Us was all but finished as a company, having declared bankruptcy and going through a liquidation process that followed soon thereafter. However, WHP acquired a controlling interest in Toys R Us’ parent company, Tru Kids, in 2021. The company planned to open more Toys R Us stores across the country, after the brand’s only two remaining locations in the U.S. closed earlier in 2021. Toys R Us has focused on creating experiential shopping experiences that are designed to help the retailer connect with kids and parents alike, as evidenced by its flagship store at the American Dream megamall in New Jersey. The 20,000 square foot location includes experiences for kids such as a two-story slide, café and ice cream shop. While the new stores may not have all of the amenities found at the American Dream location, there will be a concerted effort to create engaging, interactive spaces where kids will want to spend their time. During a challenging time for so many retailers, it's nice to see that Toys R Us appears to be on the upswing.