The Return of Toys R Us

Kayla Katounas

After shutting down in 2017 due to bankruptcy, popular toy store Toys R Us is back, now inside Macy’s department stores.

Toys R Us, once a staple for holiday shopping, has been shut down for several years since their debt reached around five billion dollars and they filed for bankruptcy. Many of the chain’s locations across America were quickly closed, with the final two locations closing in January 2021 after struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Months later, in March of 2021, Toys R Us was purchased by brand management company WHP Global, which started a partnership between Toys R Us and Macy’s, as the toy store began to sell their products on the Macy’s website. Yehuda Shmidman, the chairman and chief executive officer of WHP Global, said “We’re in the brand business, and Toys R Us is the single most credible, trusted and beloved toy brand in the world.”

Toys R Us sales were entirely online for the last several years, until now. The locations began to open in late July of this year and finished on October 15th. They will take up anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet of space inside each Macy’s location. “Macy’s cannot wait to bring the Toys R Us experience to life in our stores,” said Macy’s chief merchandising officer Nata Dvir, “We hope Toys R Us kids of all ages discover the joy of exploration and play within our shops and families create special memories together.” So far, the integration of the toy store has been successful. “The customer response to our partnership with Toys R Us has been incredible and our toy business has seen tremendous growth,” continued Dvir.

Toys R Us first opened in 1957 and was open for 60 years before closing down, in large part due to competition from online retailers like Amazon. Consumers found that shopping online was convenient and, oftentimes, cheaper. Another hit for primarily in-person toy sellers like Toys R Us was the rise in electronics for children. Action figures and dolls were replaced with tablets as more children were given their own devices. Buying a device is often very costly for families, leaving little in their budget to afford extra toys.

The partnership with Macy’s promises an exciting future for the once bleak Toys R Us. It means big things for the toy industry as a whole, and it comes just in time to buy gifts for the holiday season.