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ATLANTA — Toys "R" Us is getting another lease on life thanks to Macy's.
The two companies are partnering to sell toys on Macy's website. The brands are also opening Toys "R" Us shop-in-shops at 400 department stores next year.
It's the second attempt to revitalize the Toys "R" Us brand within three years. This relaunch is new owner WHP Global's first significant strategy shift for the toy store. The New York-based brand management company bought the storied retailer in March with plans to build a "global network and digital platform" for Toys "R" Us.
For Macy's, using the recognizable name could grow its toy business to compete against Target and Walmart. The department store said its toys sales has grown "exponentially" in the past year as parents try to entertain their homebound kids during the pandemic.
"Toys "R" Us is a globally recognized leader in children's toys and our partnership allows Macy's to significantly expand our footprint in that category, while creating more occasions for customers to shop with us across their lifestyles," said Nata Dvir, Macy's chief merchandising officer, in a press release.
WHP Global bought 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 U.S. malls, but only opened two in New Jersey and Texas. Both later closed with the company blaming COVID-19.
The store-within-a-store concept has been growing in popularity, with big chains like Target and Nordstrom looking for ways to keep shoppers coming back to their stores. Target is opening mini Apple shops and Ulta makeup shops at dozens of its locations and Kohl's has partnered with Sephora to open 70 shops.