American toy company Toys "R" Us is making a comeback in a big way, with a planned opening of a new two-story flagship store. Under new ownership, the brand plans to open a large store at the American Dream mall in New Jersey, equipped with a two-story slide and an in-house ice cream parlor.
Toys "R" Us' parent company, WHP Global, said the 20,000-square-foot store would open in mid-December, just in time for the last-minute holiday shopping season. The news comes less than a year after the closure of two pop-up stores that were part of a re-launch campaign.
This is the second attempt in recent years to resurrect the toy brand. Toys "R" Us declared bankruptcy in 2017 and shuttered all of its locations in the United States the following year. In 2019, the brand resurfaced under new leadership and built two pop-up stores, one in Paramus, New Jersey, and the other in Houston. Earlier this year, the company shut down those stores.
In August, the company said that starting next year, it will operate "shop-in-shops" in 400 Macy's locations.
WHP Global, a brand management firm located in New York, became the new owner in March when it purchased a majority stake in Tru Kids, the previous parent company of Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us, and Geoffrey the Giraffe.
Toys "R" Us currently has over 900 shops worldwide, with locations in 25 countries. The planned flagship store will be the only standalone location of the brand within the U.S.
The iconic toy brand, like other businesses, has suffered from changing customer patterns, with more consumers buying online or at big-box stores like Walmart and Target. These issues were only accelerated by the epidemic.
The reopening of Toys "R" Us may be too late for a revenue increase this year since it occurs at the conclusion of the holiday shopping season. However, its presence may be welcomed by last-minute buyers and may assist American Dream, which is set to open in October 2020, to get more foot traffic.
Apart from the flagship toy store, the 3-million-square-foot mall will also include a water park, an indoor theme park with more than 35 rides, roller coasters, and other attractions.
WHP Global and Toys "R" Us Chairman and CEO Yehuda Shmidman said they chose to place their new flagship store inside the mall because it is a "one-of-a-kind unrivaled retail center" that is an ideal destination for all families.