Macy’s to Open In-Store Toys ‘R’ Us Outposts Starting Next Year

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Toys “R” Us doesn’t want to grow up — and won’t have to — with Macy’s set to bring the previously bankrupt toy store back to in-person retail. 

Macy’s announced an upcoming collaboration with the resurrected toy conglomerate on Thursday that would put Toys “R” Us shops in 400 Macy’s department stores as early as next year. Joined by none other than the company’s trademark mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe, the outposts will have interactive experiences and, of course, lots of toys.  

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The department store will also sell Toys “R” us products online, the rollout for which has already begun. Macy’s has found recent success through online retail, with its second-quarter earnings exceeding expectations. 

By integrating Toys “R” Us into its brand, Macy’s hopes to see this trend continue. Shops-within-shops have become the latest craze for retailers looking for an edge in the era of e-commerce, with brands like Kohl’s and Sephora and Target and Apple collaborating — all with the end goal of increasing shopping traffic and attracting returning customers. 

“Our toy business grew exponentially for Macy’s in the past year, with many families looking to inspire their children’s imagination and create meaningful moments together,” Nata Dvir, Macy’s chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. “Our partnership allows Macy’s to significantly expand our footprint in that category, while creating more occasions for customers to shop with us across their lifestyles.”

Although the Toys “R” Us shops-within-shops are targeted toward children, the collaboration ultimately appeals to parents. Macy’s CEO Jeff Genette told CNBC that younger parents buying toys at Macy’s are likely to purchase additional items while they’re already in the department store, keeping Macy’s competitive with top retailers known for selling an array of products. 

This collaboration isn’t the first time that Toys “R” Us has been in the hands of outside retailers. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2017, Toys “R” Us outposts shuttered — only to be bought by Tru Kids. In an attempt to revive the beloved toy store, Tru Kids opened two mall pop-ups in 2019 and partnered with Target to relaunch the online website. Those efforts faltered and brand management company WHP Global acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids earlier this year.

Anna Staropoli can be reached at astaropoli@commercialobserver.com.