Toys R Us
Perfect day to go shopping indoors. Lol
Toys R Us makes a mega US comeback, as malls take the “anchor” approach. You might recall they filed for bankruptcy!
Jumbo slide in aisle six… not your regular toy store. Childhood legend Toys R Us is staging a major US rebirth. In 2017, the chain was sitting on $5B in debt as the “buy now” button on Amazon replaced shelf-browsing for the latest superhero figure. Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy and closed all US locations, leaving 900 international stores running. Until now:
- Toys R Us just opened its first standalone US flagship store featuring a two-story slide, an ice-cream parlor, and a Geoffrey the Giraffe café.
- Over the next year, Macy’s also plans to open 400 Toys R Us shop-within-shops in its US department stores (#InceptionRetail).
Department store après-ski… Toys R Us isn’t the only one Disney-fying its shopping experience. Its new store is nestled right outside the American Dream mall in New Jersey. And it’s wild:
- The mall features an indoor ski park, a water park, mini-golf courses, a Nickelodeon Universe, and even an aquarium. Oh, and hundreds of stores and restaurants.
- It’s the most expensive mall ever built in the US, and the second largest. The magical megamall is $3B in debt, and made only $139M in sales in the first half of this year.
To nail the mall, you must nail the anchor… The e-commerce-driven mall-pocalypse has turned many malls into tenant-less ghost towns. That’s why malls can’t just be malls anymore. They need an anchor to survive — whether that’s outdoor dining, a grocery store, or a full-on ski resort. Surprise: Landlords filled about 50% more real-estate space in open-air shopping centers last quarter than they did pre-pandemic. Anchors like grocery stores, fitness studios, and pharmacies led the mall revival. Food first, shopping second.