NEW YORK — New York City is set to lose another landmark toy shop when Toys R Us shutters its Times Square flagship store on Dec. 30. The location, which boasts 10,219 square meters, will close after the toy chain declined to renew its lease, which expires in January. The store first opened in November 2001. Closing Times Square enabled Toys R Us to “realize meaningful rent savings,” a company representative said. “We have not signed a lease agreement for a new location at this time, but we are actively searching for another location in Manhattan.” The company continues to operate 17 locations of Toys R Us and Babies R Us in the greater New York area, the representative added.
The move comes on the heels of the closing of the iconic FAO Schwarz on Fifth Avenue earlier this year.
At the time, Toys R Us, which owns FAO Schwarz, cited soaring real estate costs, but said it could reopen FAO Schwarz elsewhere in Manhattan at a future date. Conventional specialty retail chains like Toys R Us are under pressure from general merchandise retailers like Wal-Mart and Target that sell toys, as well as from Amazon and other online stores. On Dec. 15, Toys R Us reported a loss in the third quarter of US$167 million.