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Toys R Us Canada Grows Brick-and-Mortar Footprint

The retailer's parent company also launched a new Canadian home and decor retail brand called Rooms + Spaces, which includes 1,500-2,500-square-foot Toys R Us store-within-a-store concepts.
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Just before the 2023 holiday season, Toys R Us Canada parent company Putman Investments is opening eight new 25,000-square-foot Toys R Us stores and two 24,000-square-foot standalone Babies R Us Canada locations across the country.

Five of the Toys R Us and the two Babies R Us stores have already opened, after expansion plans were announced in May. The Babies R Us stores are located in Edmonton, Alberta.

In addition, earlier this summer Putman Investments launched a new Canadian home and decor retail brand called Rooms + Spaces, which includes 1,500-2,500-square-foot Toys R Us store-within-a-store concepts. Rooms + Spaces opened its first 21 locations across Canada in former Bed Bath & Beyond and Buy Buy Baby storefronts over the summer, and also debuted an e-commerce website.

The expansion totals more than 300,000-square-feet of retail space for Toys R Us and Babies R Us Canada and brings the toy retailer to 105 locations across the country, according to a media release.

[Also Read: Toys R Us Shops Coming to WHSmith in UK]

Recently, Retail Council of Canada reported, 81% of Canadians will shop at brick-and-mortar retailers in their neighborhood instead of purchasing their items online in 2023, per the release. This is almost double of what was observed in 2022 (41%). With an increase in Canadians going back to in-store shopping this holiday season, Toys R Us Canada is aiming to meet this demand with its new Toys R Us and Babies R Us store openings. Most of the locations are new and mark the toy retailer’s return to select communities such as Kamloops, British Columbia.

"I believe the Canadian consumer is looking to get out and shop in-store again,” Doug Putman, founder of Putman Investments, said in the release. “I see such a strong opportunity to invest in Canadian retail. Our recent lease acquisitions allow us to re-enter markets we were previously in, reach markets where we don't have a presence, or, where we see potential to meet a greater demand.”

The locations will hold grand opening celebrations Oct. 13-15 to introduce the communities to their stores. The events will include activities such as face-painting, balloon artists and interactive toy demos as well as special deals, giveaways and appearances from toy characters like Bluey, Cocomelon, Peppa Pig, Elm and Care Bears.

The new stores have gradually opened throughout the summer and will continue to through the fall. The openings are expected to be completed just ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. The new Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores are located in the following cities:

  • Burnaby and Kamloops, British Columbia.
  • Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta.
  • Nepean and Toronto, Ontario.
  • Lachenaie, Quebec.
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In addition, two existing Toys R Us stores in Burlington and Newmarket, Ontario, opened new 6,000-square-foot expanded books and gifting sections for adults in June. These sections feature gifts from brands like Umbra, Pavillion and Giftcraft and have a section for bestselling books and seasonal gifts.

The toy retailer increased its book assortment in 2022 and now garners 10,000 square feet of book sections.

In a media release from May, Nick Muriella, vice president of merchandising & supply chain, Toys R Us Canada, said, "We create our product assortment based on what our customers demand. … With Rooms + Spaces now part of Doug Putman's portfolio of retail brands, there will be even more opportunity to partner with our vendors to bring new and unexpected brands and products into our stores,” he added.

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