Toys “R” Us will open a two-level, 20,000-square-foot store in American Dream, the mega entertainment and retail complex in East Rutherford, N.J.
This will be the only Toys “R” Us freestanding store in the U.S., though it’s possible other stand-alone stores will open in the U.S.
Aside from the opening in American Dream, the focus at Toys “R” Us is rolling out shops inside more than 400 Macy’s locations around the country in 2022. Toys “R” Us products are already sold on the Macy’s website and Macy’s also provides inventory and digital fulfillment for the Toys “R” Us flagship e-commerce website. Macy’s Toys “R” Us strategy fulfills a void in its merchandising and family appeal and seeks to take market share from Walmart and Target, the two biggest sellers of toys in the U.S.
Toys “R” Us and its sister brand Babies “R” Us were purchased in March 2021 by WHP Global, which has a portfolio of brands including Anne Klein, Joseph Abboud, Joe’s Jeans, William Rast and Lotto.
WHP Global bought Toys “R” Us from Tru Kids, which failed to revive the toy store chain after it went bankrupt in September 2017 and liquidated its U.S. stores while maintaining its global operations. Tru Kids only opened two Toys “R” Us stores in the U.S., in New Jersey and Texas, which later closed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since acquiring Toys ‘R’ Us earlier this year, WHP Global has been focused on bringing back Toys ‘R’ Us in the U.S.A., investing in our global platform, which already has over 900 stores outside the U.S.A., and investing in new content as you can see across all of our social platforms,” Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and chief executive officer of WHP Global, told WWD via email. Shmidman also holds the title of chairman and CEO of Toys “R” Us.
Shmidman said Toys “R” Us in American Dream will open in the middle of this month, and that it is considered a “flagship” location for the brand. He had no comment on whether additional stand-alone Toys “R” Us stores would be built in the U.S. Abroad, Toys “R” Us has locations in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
Toys “R” Us store will sell toy brands, provide interactive experiences and product demonstrations, and kids can meet Geoffrey the Giraffe, the mascot of Toys “R” Us. There will also be a Geoffrey’s Café and ice cream parlor, and a two-story slide.
“American Dream is a one-of-a-kind unrivaled retail center featuring massive entertainment experiences that make it an ideal destination for families. Debuting our first Toys ‘R’ Us flagship here is a no-brainer,” Shmidman said in a statement. “The Toy ‘R’ Us brand is big and growing fast.”
“Toys ‘R’ Us sparks the same feeling of joy across multiple age groups. This powerful brand is the perfect addition to American Dream’s all-star lineup of entertainment properties and attractions,” said Don Ghermezian, CEO of American Dream, in a statement.
According to Shmidman, Toys “R” Us generates $2 billion in global retail sales annually through the 900 locations and e-commerce businesses that are in about 25 countries. Collectively, the brands within the WHP Global portfolio generate approximately $4 billion in sales, according to WHP. The company also owns WHP+, a turnkey direct-to-consumer digital e-commerce platform for brands, and WHP Solutions, a sourcing agency based in Asia.
The addition of Toys “R” Us to American Dream strengthens the center’s concentration of attractions for kids and their families. Toys “R” Us will be located near the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and DreamWorks Water Park. Other attractions include Legoland Discovery Center, Sea Life Aquarium and Big Snow Ski Hill. Soon to open are The Game Room Powered by Hasbro and Skip Barber Racing Go-Kart Academy. Retailers include Saks Fifth Avenue, Hermès, Dolce & Gabbana, Aritzia, H&M, Primark, Uniqlo, Sephora and Zara.