One good thing about the bad economy: There are plenty of empty storefronts in malls across the country, and the owners are more than happy to rent them to short-term tenants during peak seasons. And, this year, you can add Toys R Us to the usual gang of Halloween and Christmas stores that pop up suddenly in your local Simon, and disappear in the night a few weeks later. Jeffrey and his posse are expected to open 80 temporary stores next month, along with new toy sections in 260 Babies R Us shops.
According to the Washington Post, the effort is part of what’s expected to be an epic battle between the R crew, Walmart and other major retailers for the hearts, minds and wallets of America’s parents.
…it’s not the only retailer ramping up toy operations before Christmas. Sears has already installed permanent toy shops in 20 stores in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. Behemoth discount retailer Wal-Mart said it is planning exclusives with popular licensed brands such as Bakugan and Transformers. “I think every lever that can be pulled will be pulled,” said Anita Frazier, senior industry analyst for the market research firm NPD Group.
While retailers are hoping for a better season this year than last, that’s far from certain. Toys R Us recently reported a drop in revenue for its latest quarter, as consumers remain reluctant to spring for high-priced toys.
Holiday blitz for Toys R Us [Washington Post]