Toys R Us is planning a major comeback in the United States by expanding its brick-and-mortar presence. The toy retailer’s parent company, WHP Global, announced an expansion called “Air, Land, and Sea” that includes opening up to 24 new flagship stores in prime cities, as well as establishing locations at airports and on cruise ships. The first airport store is set to open in November at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. This expansion is part of a slow revival for the once ubiquitous brand, which filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and was subsequently liquidated. WHP Global’s acquisition of a controlling interest in Tru Kids, Toys R Us’ parent company, has allowed for this new expansion.
The plan is for Toys R Us to partner with Go! Retail Group to open flagship stores as early as next year. These locations will be strategically chosen to complement the brand’s current retail footprint. Additionally, the company will open stores at airports and on cruise ships, capitalizing on the rise of travel retail. The first airport store, in partnership with Duty Free Americas, will offer customers the opportunity to shop for their favorite toys and regional merchandise before boarding their flights. The expansion into air, land, and sea highlights the strength of the Toys R Us brand and its significant growth since the acquisition by WHP Global.
Overall, the expansion plans signify a positive turnaround for Toys R Us. After facing bankruptcy and store closures, the brand’s parent company is now focusing on reestablishing its presence in the US market. The new flagship stores will offer immersive shopping experiences similar to the popular American Dream location in New Jersey. The company’s global footprint has already increased by more than 50% since the acquisition, with over 1,400 stores and e-commerce sites in 31 countries. With the addition of airport and cruise ship locations, Toys R Us aims to tap into the travel retail market and continue its upward trajectory. The brand generates more than $2 billion in global retail sales annually, a testament to its enduring popularity.