Toys 'R' Us Is Returning in a 'Massive Way'

Huge new store will open in New Jersey mall
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2021 8:58 AM CST
Toys 'R' Us Is Returning With Massive New Store
In this July 30, 1996 photo, a woman pushes a shopping cart over a graphic of Toys R Us mascot Geoffrey the giraffe at aToys R Us store in Raritan, NJ.   (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer, File)

(Newser) – Toys 'R' Us is planning to open a massive new store, which will bring its total number of standalone locations in the US to one. Parent company WHP Global says the 20,000 square foot store at the American Dream mall in New Jersey, set to open in mid-December, will feature an ice cream parlor and multi-level slide, CNN reports. The chain closed all its US stores in 2018, the year after it filed for bankruptcy. It kept an online presence and opened two stores, one in New Jersey and another in Texas, in late 2019, but they struggled during the pandemic and closed early this year. Before COVID hit, the chain had planned to open 10 stores by end of 2020.

"Toys 'R' Us is back and it's back in a mega way," Toys R US CEO Yehuda Shmidman tells USA Today. He says WHP Global, which became the chain's new owner in March, doesn't plan to stray far from what founder Charles Lazarus created. "I don't believe that Toys 'R' Us needs a turnaround as a brand because the brand is awesome," Shmidman says. "We're just trying to bring it back to America and we're trying to do it with a modern-day distribution."

The company, which still has around 900 stores overseas, also plans to open hundreds of "stores within stores" at Macy's locations next year. CNN notes that the store may be opening too late in the holiday season to provide a major boost in revenue, but it will still attract last-minute shoppers, bringing more traffic to America's second-biggest mall. The American Dream complex, which opened in East Rutherford in October last year, also features attractions including an indoor theme park and an indoor ski slope. (Read more Toys 'R' Us stories.)

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