When I was a kid, Toys “R” Us was one of my favorite places on the planet. I’d think up any excuse I could to get my parents to take me there. And even on weekends outside of holiday shopping seasons, I remember the parking lot being packed all the time.
But a lot has changed for Toys “R” Us since my youth in the 1980s. Particularly the 21st century has not been kind to the brand. After years of declining sales and competition from online retailers like Amazon, the iconic toy brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2017. However, since then, the company has repeatedly tried various initiatives to make a comeback. There was the doomed rebranding, then the miniaturization of its physical retail stores, and then the stores with a high-tech twist.
But now, the beloved toy store of yesteryear has a new comeback idea: Toys “R” Us is planning to open stores-within-a-store in 400 Macy’s locations, reports CNBC. Under the latest comeback plan, Toys “R” Us will open the new shops in Macy’s stores across the country beginning in 2022, which will stock an assortment of traditional toys, games, and gadgets. Toys “R” Us, it is hoped, will benefit from all the foot traffic the department store chain gets. But the deal doesn’t only benefit Toys “R” Us. With the popular toy store soon to be in Macy’s locations, the department store chain will now have more ways to compete with other retail giants like Walmart and online giants like Amazon. Speaking of online . . . as part of the Toys “R” Us deal, Macy’s will also power the Toys “R” Us website.
Is this enough to save the beleaguered Toys “R” Us brand? The kid in me hopes so, but only time will tell.