DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Toys ‘R’ Us to make Times Square return — for a limited engagement

BY Marianne Wilson

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.

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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Canadian outerwear brand in brick-and-mortar expansion

BY Marianne Wilson

A premium outerwear best known for its signature goose-down jacket with fur-trimmed hood is expanding its fledgling store footprint.

Canada Goose Holdings Inc. announced plans to open three additional retail stores this fall, with locations in Boston, Calgary (Canada), and Tokyo, Japan. Also opening this fall are two previously announced stores in Chicago and London.

“Having a flagship store in Tokyo is particularly exciting as Japan continues to be one of our strongest growing markets and we can now better answer the call of our Asian customers by giving them an opportunity to engage with our brand, unfiltered,” said Dani Reiss, president & CEO, Canada Goose. “We are equally excited to extend our footprint in North America, where we know our brand’s proud Canadian heritage and unparalleled product innovation and design resonates with locals and tourists alike.”

In Boston, the Canada Goose store will be located in the Prudential Center. The Calgary store will mark the brand’s second store in Canada and will be located in the Cadillac Fairview Chinook Centre. The 3,100-sq.-ft. Tokyo flagship will be operated by the company’s distribution partner and be located in the Sendagaya neighborhood, one of the high-end fashion centers of the city.

Each of the three new stores will feature signature Canadian design elements and select heritage pieces from the company’s six-decades of archives as well as a broad assortment of seasonal collections and exclusive collaborations.

The 60-year-old Canada Goose opened its first freestanding stores in 2016, with flagships in Toronto and New York City.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: One-fifth of emails never hit shopper inboxes

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

With 20% of emails being filtered into spam folders, retail marketers are missing out on the opportunity to drive an ROI from email.

This was according to “2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report,” a study from data solutions provider Return Path. The report analyzed 2 billion brand emails.

According to the study, just 80% of email is delivered to the inbox, while the remainder is diverted to spam folders or gets blocked altogether. While this is consistent with the company’s 2016 and 2015 benchmarks, which reported a 79% global inbox placement rate, these filtered messages still keep marketers from driving meaningful revenue from the email channel.

Email marketers in the United States saw the lowest inbox placement of any country analyzed, with just 77% of messages reaching subscribers. On a positive note, this is a jump from 73% in 2016.

Meanwhile, Canadian marketers achieved one of the highest inbox placement rates in this study, with an average of 90%. For the second year in a row, Australian marketers maintained average inbox placement of 90% — tying with Canada for the best result in the study.

Marketers in European countries generally exceeded the global inbox placement rate, with averages of 82% (France and Spain) and 84% (UK). Of the European countries studied, only Germany fell slightly below the global average with 79% inbox placement, data revealed.

Looking at inbox placement by industry, the best results were found in sectors with strong account-based consumer relationships, such as banking & finance (94%), distribution & manufacturing (92%), and travel (90%).

When analyzing the retail category, clothing/apparel marketers find it hardest to connect with consumers. These marketers saw an inbox placement rate of 85%, compared to 93% the previous year.

“Email remains the most popular and effective channel available to marketers, so it’s more important than ever to get it right. If your emails aren’t reaching the inbox, you’re missing out on an opportunity to build relationships and generate ROI,” said Return Path president George Bilbrey. “But email filtering continues to evolve, as mailbox providers apply increasingly sophisticated algorithms to deliver only the content their users truly want.”

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