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Move Represents Return To Brick & Mortar After Closures Of Freestanding Stores; Launching of Digital Stores, & Shop-In-Shops In Macy’s
WHP Global, parent company of Toys”R”Us®, plans to open a two-story Toys”R”Us flagship store inside American Dream, the entertainment/retail megamall in Bergen County.
New York-based WHP bought Toys “R” Us from Tru Kids Inc. in March 2021, after Tru Kids’ plans to open about a dozen standalone smaller stores across US malls didn’t materialize. Instead, the company opened only two locations, one in New Jersey and another in Texas, in late 2019. Both closed in early 2021, with the company holding Covid-19 responsible.
Like other retailers, Toys “R” Us has been hurt by shifting consumer habits with more people shopping online or at big-box stores, including Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT). The pandemic only catalyzed those trends.
Toys “R” Us re-opening might not give the company the revenue boost it needs this year because it’s opening during the end of the holiday shopping season. But its arrival might attract last-minute shoppers and generate foot traffic at American Dream, which finally opened in October 2020.
The first U.S. Toys”R”Us flagship store will feature a two-level retail concept spanning 20,000 square feet. The flagship will be reminiscent of the toy store’s brand where visitors are met by mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe and engage in interactive experiences and product demonstrations.
Located within steps of Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and DreamWorks Water Park, the flagship is at the epicenter of American Dream’s premiere entertainment, shopping, and dining experiences.
“American Dream is a one-of-a-kind unrivaled retail center featuring massive entertainment experiences that make it an ideal destination for families,” said said Yehuda Shmidman, WHP Global and Toys”R”Us Chairman and CEO. “Debuting our first Toys”R”Us flagship here is a no-brainer. The Toy”R”Us brand is big and growing fast.”
The company plans to open in mid-December with extended hours in time for the 2021 holiday shopping season.
The Toys”R”Us flagship at American Dream marks the return of the first standalone flagship store for the toy brand in the U.S. It follows the opening of its digital flagship store this year, along with more than 400 Toys”R”Us shop-in-shops slated to open in Macy’s stores nationwide starting in 2022.
The CEO said the company has more than 900 stores and e-commerce sites operating across 25 countries outside the USA.
“Our U.S. expansion plans are in high gear, propelling us into the next chapter of growth for our global brand,” she added.
“Toys”R”Us sparks the same feeling of joy across multiple age groups,” said Don Ghermezian, CEO of American Dream. “This powerful brand is the perfect addition to American Dream’s all-star lineup of entertainment properties and attractions. We’re thrilled to partner with WHP Global and Toys”R”Us to bring this project to life.”