Toys R Us is looking to make a major comeback, announcing this week it plans to expand its brick and mortar operations and add 24 new flagship stores in the country.
WHP Global, the iconic toy store brand’s parent company, announced it has partnered with a retail group to roll out new flagship stores across the U.S. beginning in 2024, as well as create new retail experiences for travelers by opening stores in airports and on cruise ships.
The first airport store will open in November at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the company said.
Officials for WHP Global said the Toys R Us brand is still widely recognized and is growing rapidly since it acquired controlling stake in the company in 2021.
“Since acquiring Toys R Us, we have increased our global retail footprint by more than 50% with openings in the United States, United Kingdom, India, Dubai, and Mexico,” said WHP Chief Executive Officer Yehuda Shmidman. “We now have over 1,400 stores and e-commerce sites across 31 countries, and as we head into 2024, we are excited to bring Toys R Us to consumers everywhere, whether you’re visiting one of our stores at Macy’s, at our flagships, in an airport, or onboard a cruise ship.”
Once a retail giant and pop culture mainstay in the 1980s and ’90s, Toys R Us, like many beloved brands, struggled to adapt to the changing retail landscape. The last two Toys R Us physical stores closed in Jan. 2021, prior to WHP’s acquisition.
But only months after closing up shop seemingly for good, WHP opened a 20,000-square-foot flagship location at the American Dream shopping complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. After that successful launch, the brand began popping up in hundreds of new locations across America.
As part of its new strategy, 24 new flagship locations will open up across the U.S., following a similar blueprint as the one at the American Dream.
“The new flagship stores will serve as epicenters of immersive fun, providing customers with a destination to explore and discover the hottest toys,” the company said in a news release.
As part of its new strategy, Toys R Us will be opening in places that not even Geoffrey the Giraffe could’ve ever imagined, offering travelers the chance to purchase exclusive regional merchandise from select airports and cruise-themed merchandise for kids to enjoy on long voyages.
WHP has not said which airports aside from DFW it will be opening stores in, nor has it said which cruise lines it will be partnering with in the expansion.
Despite some economic challenges since the turn of the new millenium, WHP said Toys R Us is still a money-making brand, generating more than $2 billion in global retail sales each year. The brand can currently be found at 1,400 stores and e-commerce businesses in 31 countries, the company says.
Gideon Schlessinger, CEO of Go! Retail Group, the company tasked with leading the Toys R Us expansion, said the company was honored to be chosen to partner with the iconic toy brand and help its continued growth and recovery to the titan of retail it once was.