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It's been three years since the beloved toy store chain Toys "R" Us closed its doors in the United States, seemingly for the last time, as the online shopping landscape claimed victory of its once hallowed aisles. Now, after various efforts at revival, the beloved bastion of toy shopping that every kid born before internet shopping knows and loves is making its long-awaited comeback...well, sort of.
Macy's, another beloved United States retail chain, announced Monday that it has partnered with WHP Global (current owner of the Toys "R" Us brand) for a revival of the toy store, though not necessarily in the way that fans of the experience might remember it.
The new team-up begins, as many retail things do these days, with an online portal available through both the Macy's website and the Toys "R" Us website itself. There, shoppers can browse a selection of toys by age group, interest, goals and more, all under the Toys "R" Us brand name. But an online store is nothing new, which is why people really craving that original Toys "R" Us experience will be looking ahead to 2022.
Though it launched this week with a new online retail partnership, the agreement between Macy's and WHP will also include new Toys "R" Us-branded shopping sections in "more than 400" Macy's stores around the United States, set to begin rolling out next year. Though we don't yet know what those new sections will look like, or how expansive they'll be in each Macy's location, a press release announcing the partnership promised toy selections grouped by age and interest within Macy's stores, as well as the return of the Toys "R" Us mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe.
“As a Toys"R"Us kid, I could not be more excited to bring this beloved brand that so many of our customers know and love into Macy’s online and to our stores across America,” Macy’s chief merchandising officer Nata Dvir said. “Our toy business grew exponentially in the past year, with many families looking to inspire their children’s imagination and create meaningful moments together. Toys"R"Us is a globally recognized leader in children’s toys and 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.”
Though financial woes led to a shuttering of U.S. Toys "R" Us locations in the spring of 2018, the brand remains a presence around the world with almost 900 physical locations. Will the return via Macy's stores offer the same magic as it did when you were a kid in the '90s, browsing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures and looking for the most coveted Sega Genesis releases? Maybe not, but it's a start — and it at least keeps the brand, and all that nostalgia, around a while longer.