Call it a take two—or a take three—for Toys R Us, which once again will rise from the ashes to open a new store in mid-December, this one occupying two stories at the American Dream megamall in East Rutherford.
Parent company WHP Global announced its forthcoming grand opening on Dec. 1. The 20,000-square-foot store will include a café, an ice cream parlor and a two-story slide, all just steps away from American Dream attractions like Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and DreamWorks Water Park.
Yehuda Shmidman, WHP Global and Toys R Us chairman and CEO, said that debuting the brand’s first flagship store at American Dream was a “no-brainer.”
Worldwide, Toys R Us has more than 900 stores and e-commerce sites operating across 25 countries. In the U.S., however, the retailer closed all stores by June 2018 after filing for bankruptcy earlier that year. A comeback attempt launched in 2019 ultimately failed, and the stores opened during that period closed by February 2021.
Brand management firm WHP Global acquired a controlling stake in the brand a month after the comeback attempt ended.
At the time, Shmidman said his company’s investment in Toys R Us reflected their “belief and passion for the brand.”
“We are thrilled to be taking the reins of the world’s leading toy brand at a time when the category is up 16% and consumer demand for toys is at an all-time high. This is a natural fit for WHP, as we can leverage our global network and digital platform to help grow Toys R Us and Babies R Us around the world,” Schmidman said in March.
The flagship opening comes after the retailer opened its digital flagship store this summer with Macy’s, and on the heels of more than 400 Toys R Us shop-in-shops slated to open in the department store nationwide starting in 2022.
“American Dream is a world-class destination with one-of-a-kind experiences and first-to-market entertainment/retail concepts, designed to delight a multi-generational audience,” said Don Ghermezian, CEO of American Dream, in a prepared statement. “Toys R Us sparks the same feeling of joy across multiple age groups. This powerful brand is the perfect addition to American Dream’s all-star lineup of entertainment properties and attractions. We’re thrilled to partner with WHP Global and Toys R Us to bring this project to life.”
Opening is slated for mid-December, though an exact date was not announced.l