What happened to Toys “R” Us? When did Toys “R” Us go bankrupt?
Toys “R” Us, the iconic toy chain that operated over 1,400 stores at its peak, was a mainstay of American retail for over 50 years. After the company went bankrupt in 2017 and subsequently liquidated all US store in 2018, the iconic stores became virtually nonexistent across the United States. However, as the company went through the bankruptcy proceedings, it decided that it would emerge from bankruptcy holding the intellectual property in tact and starting anew.
The company emerged from bankruptcy in early 2019 under the company name Tru Kids holding the rights to Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us and the “Geoffrey the Giraffe” mascot. It was determined that it would be run by former Toys “R” Us executives with a leaner and meaner operation. The brand relaunched its website in October 2019 and opened its first new physical location in Paramus, New Jersey and at the Galleria in Houston, Texas.
The two stores ultimately closed in January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the company was then bought by WHP Global in March 2021 with the plan to slowly build the brand back up. One of Toys “R” Us’s first steps at building back the retail footprint was to partner with Macy’s to do store within store locations in Macy’s locations across the country.
Toys “R” Us Near Me? Where is the Toys “R” Us flagship store?
Toys ‘R’ Us opened a massive flagship store at the American Dream Mall in Bergen County, New Jersey in December 2021. Now the company’s goal is to have a Toys ‘R’ Us store within a store in every Macy’s in the United States. The process has begun to roll out and you can see if there is a Toys ‘R’ Us at Macy’s location near you by checking this store list.
Where did Toys “R” Us stay open internationally?
In some international markets, Toys “R” Us remained open and the stores look like they did prior to the bankruptcy.
Toys “R” Us Canada
The company never closed down its old stores in Canada and it lived on. In June 2018, the Canadian operation was purchased by Fairfax Capital and 81 stores remained. In 2021, Doug Putman, who also owns the FYE chain and Sunrise Records, purchased Toys “R” Us Canada from Fairfax excluding the real estate which Fairfax still owns and earns a performance based royalty.
We visited a Toys “R” Us Canada location in summer 2022, and it looks largely like the United States locations prior to bankruptcy (see below).
Toys “R” Us Asia
Toys “R” Us Asia remained mostly unscathed on the United States bankruptcy and continues to operate today in Greater China and in the Southeast Asia markets, including stores in Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, and licenses at additional stores in the Philippines and Macau. In 2017, the operators of these Asian locations merged with Toys “R” Us Japan.
Toys “R” Us Middle East & Africa
Toys “R” Us operations in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emiratesare owned and operated by the Al-Futtaim Group. There are also stores in Saudi Arabia owned by Tasweeq Company. Toys “R” Us operates in Israel via the Fishman Retail Group. Stores are also independently operated in South Africa, Namibia, and Zambia.
Toys “R” Us Europe
Toys “R” Us is mostly gone from Europe as a result of bankruptcies, but there’s potential that it will be reviving in the United Kingdom.
Will Toys “R” Us open more standalone stores (in the United States)?
As of now, other than the flagship American Dream mall location in New Jersey, it seems Toys “R” Us will mainly operate via the pop-up locations in Macy’s stores. But you never know what the future holds…
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Sears, Francis Scott Key Mall, Frederick, MD (visit)
Sears at Christmas in 2019
Sears at Christmas 2021