After shuttering stores nationwide in 2018, the iconic children’s chain Toys “R” Us is returning to a mall in New Jersey just in time for the holidays.
The revamped Toys “R” Us makes its official comeback at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus on Wednesday with a soft opening. It will close for Thanksgiving but reopens on Black Friday and there is a “grand opening” celebration on Saturday with character appearances and more.
Bringing the beloved toy store back to life was a dream job for Richard Barry, the CEO of Tru Kids, the parent company of Toys “R” Us.
“I’m a 30 plus Toys ‘R’ Us kid and being given the opportunity to re-imagine the experience,” Barry told ABC’s New York affiliate, WABC. “This is a very different store from the traditional Toys ‘R’ Us store, being able to reimagine the business was kind of a dream come true.”
The store will feature activities such as a theater, an interactive tree house and many toys will be out of the box and available for children to play with as their parents shop.
“Customers are interacting with brands in a different way, they’re interacting through experiences and we’re doing that in a huge way with this store,” Barry told WABC.
Toys “R” Us closed all of its stores in 2018 after filing for bankruptcy, to the heartbreak of children and nostalgic adults who grew up in the stores.
In October, Toys “R” Us announced it was partnering with its one-time competitor Target to enhance shopping experiences online and in-stores. Customers can browse toys on Toys “R” Us’ website, and then be redirected to complete their purchase at Target, according to a joint statement from the companies.
The Toys “R” Us customers “will be able to get their online purchases faster than ever,” the statement added, noting that online orders can be “ready for pickup or delivery to most U.S. households as soon as one hour.”
Toys “R” Us is also opening a second store in Houston, Texas, on Dec. 7.