Toys R Us is Making a Comeback – Will it Return to Evansville?
Roughly four years after closing nearly all its stores across the country and shifting its business model to online sales following a bankruptcy filing in 2017, Toys R Us announced a partnership with Macy's department stores on Thursday that will see the one-time toy retail giant return to its brick-and-mortar roots with new storefronts inside existing Macy's locations.
There was a time where if you needed to buy a toy for whatever reason, Toys R Us was where you went. They often carried toys you couldn't find at a department store such as Walmart or Target since those stores also sold a variety of other non-toy items. When you dedicate a whole store to nothing but toys, you have the extra space to stock items other retailers don't have space for. I remember going to the location on Evansville's east side on numerous occasions to blow whatever birthday or Christmas money I received on the latest action figure or video game I wanted.
The rise in popularity of online shopping allowed you to find and purchase the toys you couldn't find at a department store without having to fight crowds, or leave the house for that matter, which took away the uniqueness of the Toys R Us experience and eventually led the aforementioned bankruptcy.
The newly announced partnership with Macy's allows Toys R Us to return the physical retail space, although on what I assume will be a smaller scale. Thursday's announcement did not go into detail as to what the "store-in-store" will look like or how much space it will consume inside existing Macy's stores. However, it did say they will begin to open in over 400 locations nationwide beginning next year and will feature "dedicated sections by age, interest, and category, with interactive experiences, activation centers, and iconic elements throughout."
The press release also didn't specify which Macy's locations in the U.S. will house Toys R Us stores however, the company currently operates a total of 512 locations, which I think makes the chances we'll have a location inside Eastland Mall pretty high. Plus, while we're not the size of Indianapolis, Nashville, St. Louis, or Cincinnati, we are one of the larger cities in our area and draw shoppers from surrounding counties, so in my opinion, it would make sense to open a location here.
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