A rise in consumer demand has led Toys “R” Us back to New York’s Times Square, after the retailer’s flagship store closed its doors in December 2015.
This month, TRU will open a temporary 35,000-square-foot store at 1466 Broadway in the Knickerbocker Building. The company’s 110,000-square-foot original location opened in 2001 and spanned four levels at West 44th and West 45th streets, two blocks from the reopened location. The new scaled-down shop will remain open through the holiday season, but there is no confirmation on how long the temporary location will last after that.
The new store will include a dedicated play area for kids, and will have a particular focus on products aimed at city dwellers and visitors. The first level will also include a Movie HQ with products from this fall’s biggest blockbusters, while level two will have dedicated LEGO and NERF shops, along with traditional toys across multiple categories including preschool, games, dolls, learning, collectibles and arts and crafts.
Jamie Uitdenhowen, the company’s VP and general merchandising manager, talked to Kidscreen in May about how TRU was looking to emphasize in-store experiences. His remarks came after the company struggled in 2016, with earnings falling US$8 million due to declines in the Asia-Pacific market, and it closed a group of domestic stores.