After a nearly two-year absence, Toys "R" Us is returning to Times Square — but not on a permanent basis.
Citing customer demand, the retailer said it will open a temporary 35,000-sq.-ft. store at the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway, just two blocks from the chain's massive, 110,000-sq.-ft. flagship that it closed at the end of 2015. Scheduled to open in August, the three-level store will offer a "one-stop toy shopping experience — complete with a dedicated play area — just in time for the holiday season."
In addition, the store will feature life-size toy displays and such interactive elements as an animatronic dinosaur (a scaled-down version of the one in its former Times Square flagship). It also will give Toys "R" Us a central location for New Yorkers who want to take advantage of the chain's buy online, pick-up in store service.
"The Times Square holiday shop reunites our brand with an iconic New York destination which we are thrilled about," said Dave Brandon, chairman & CEO, Toys "R" Us, Inc. "More importantly, the store offers customers a host of products tailored to the needs of city dwellers and visitors – all in interest of bringing play to kids and families around the world!"
The first level of the store will feature in-store shops, including Movie HQ (products from this fall's biggest blockbusters), Hot and New (the hottest holiday toys), Star Wars, and Marvel, along with New York City memorabilia. Additionally, it will house a select assortment of electronic and entertainment items.
The second level will include dedicated Lego and Nerf shops, and a full assortment of traditional toys across a range of categories. It will also be home to a dedicated play space where kids will be able to play with products out-of-the-box and experience toy demos.
The lower level will include Hot Wheels items, and action figures, as well as city-friendly modes of transportation such as bikes and scooters.
Toys "R" Us' said its buy online, pick up in store service will be available at the Times Square location, providing Manhattan customers with an easy way to pick up thousands of items in under an hour. Layaway service will also be available.
The retailer did not say how long its temporary store would remain open. Landlord representation was provided by Brittany H. Bragg of Crown Retail Services, and Peter Ripka of Ripco Real Estate was the broker representation for Crown Retail Services.