IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Toys ‘R’ Us coming back amid a surge in toy sales during the pandemic

The iconic toy store had shut down amid a 2017 bankruptcy filing.
Image: Macy's Toys "R" Us
Macy's Toys "R" Us on July 11, 2022 in Jersey City, N.J.Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images for Macy's, Inc.

One of America's most iconic toy stores is returning to brick-and-mortar retail just in time for this year's holiday season.

Toys"R"Us will open shops inside every Macy's store in the U.S. by mid-October, part of a rollout that began last year, the companies announced in a release on Monday.

The in-store shops will range from 1,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet, with the ability to expand up to an additional 3,000 square feet to offer an even wider assortment of products. The shops will feature hands-on demonstration tables, as well as a life-size Geoffrey Giraffe sitting on a bench for families to take photos with.

Starting Oct. 15 through Oct. 23, Macy's stores will host nine days of in-store events at the shops, including family friendly activities and daily giveaways from brands like Barbie, LEGO and more.

Founded in 1948, Toys"R"Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017 as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt amid the broader decline in traditional retail. The bankruptcy led to the closure of some 900 Toys"R"Us stores around the country and resulted in approximately 33,000 layoffs. By January 2021, the brand had closed its last two physical stores in the U.S. as it sought to weather the pandemic.

In March 2021, New York-based WHP Global, a brand management firm whose other labels include Babies"R"Us, Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud, acquired the Toys"R"Us brand for an undisclosed sum. Later that year, Macy's began offering Toys"R"Us products online.

"We're in the brand business, and Toys"R"Us is the single most credible, trusted and beloved toy brand in the world," Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and chief executive officer of WHP, told CNBC in an interview last year. "We're coming off a year where toys are just on fire. ... And for Toys"R"Us, the U.S. is really a blank canvas."

Toy sales have exploded amid the pandemic, with U.S. retail sales of toys generating nearly $29 billion in 2021 compared with about $22 billion in 2019, according to retail insights firm NPD Group. The boom has been fueled in part by the arrival of stimulus checks into American shoppers' bank accounts, NPD said.