Toys “R” Us is making another comeback attempt in partnership with Macy’s
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
Toys “R” Us appears to be the little brand that could — at least for now.
The once popular toy store chain went bankrupt in 2017, underwent a change in ownership and restructuring. It announced plans to start to reopen retail stores — but the only two to start up were shuttered by, at least according to the chain, the coronavirus pandemic.
Now, WHP Global, the company that owns the assets for Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us and Geoffrey the Giraffe (a chain mascot), has inked a deal with Macy’s to open “store within a store” concepts and sell toys on the Macy’s website.
Macy’s will open 400 Toys “R” Us experiences at its physical stores in 2022 and has also taken over handling processing the chain’s website orders.
ToysRUs.com still works and operates as an independent site — but one that’s more just a “gateway” to Macys.com’s product pages, with shoppers directed there once it’s time to actually buy an item.
It’s a similar setup to the one the toy chain once had with Target.
Both Toys “R” Us and Macy’s, among other major retailers, had already been hurting due to the rise in online shopping and steep overhead before COVID-19 hit — and the future of physical retail is very much in the balance as brands try to innovate by experimenting with options such as curbside pickup and local delivery.
The store in a store concept has also been popular with retailers, who see the move as a good way to get foot traffic in the door. The partner brands also benefit from lower overhead since there’s no additional real estate involved.
Target, for example, has opened mini Apple Stores and Ulta Beauty experiences in select locations while Kohl’s has a similar deal with Sephora.
Target has been among several retailers who have managed to weather the shift to online shopping through a variety of strategies, including store remodels for improved customer experience, its Target Circle loyalty program and development of dozens of house brands.
Macy’s, however, was closing stores before COVID hit.