By Ramishah Maruf, CNN
New York (CNN) — Toys “R” Us stores are making another comeback — this time it’s at airports and cruise ships.
WHP Global, the toy store’s parent company, announced an expansion of up to 24 flagship stores, as well as opening stores at airports and cruise ships.
Aptly named the “air, land, and sea” expansion, it’s a bold move for the troubled toy company, which is attempting another rebound after filing for bankruptcy and closing all its stores in 2018. It has attempted several unsuccessful comebacks via various owners.
The first airport store will open in November at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport through a partnership with Duty Free Americas, WHP Global said Friday. The stores for the cruise industry will sell cruise-themed merchandise, though Toys “R” Us did not specify on which cruise lines or where the stores will open.
The flagship stores will open in a new deal with Go! Retail Groups, which will start opening in the 2024 holiday season. The 24 flagship locations will join the 452 Toys “R” Us shops that are currently open in Macy’s stores across the country.
Its Macy’s partnership in 2021 gave the toy retailer a new lease on life, when the two companies agreed to sell toys on Macy’s website and opened shops-within-shops at 400 department stores.
The new flagship stores will “open in prime locations that complement the existing retail footprint at Macy’s,” a spokesperson said.
One flagship store already exists: Toys “R” Us marked its US return with a 20,000 sq ft. flagship store that opened at the New Jersey American Dream Mall in 2022.
In 2021, WHP Global acquired Toys “R” Us from Tru Kids Inc., which bought the failed brand in a 2018 liquidation sale. Tru Kids had big plans to open about a dozen standalone stores across US malls, but only opened two in New Jersey and Texas. Both later closed with the company citing Covid-19.
Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and CEO of WHP Global, said that since the company acquired Toys “R” Us, it increased its global retail footprint by more than 50%, with over 1,400 stores and e-commerce sites across 31 countries.
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