Will Toys“R”Us kids help Macy’s have a very merry Christmas?

Photo: Macy’s
Jul 19, 2022

Every Macy’s will soon have a Toys“R”Us shop inside.

The two retailers yesterday said that the toy shops will begin opening later this month, locating one in every Macy’s department store by October 15.

The shops will range between 1,000 square feet and 10,000 square feet depending on the location. The largest shops will be featured in Macy’s flagship locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco. Macy’s may expand shops between 500 square feet and 3,000 square feet during the holidays to offer shoppers a wider selection of products to choose from.

The Toys”R”Us shops will use colorful fixtures to draw the eyes of shoppers in the store. They will include production demonstration tables where kids can interact with toys and a life-size “Geoffrey on a Bench” where customers can take photographs with the Toys”R”Us mascot.

Will Toys“R”Us kids help Macy’s have a very merry Christmas?
Photo: Macy’s

Every Macy’s will host nine days of special in-store events beginning on October 15 and running through Oct. 23, featuring family-friendly activities and daily product giveaways from popular brands including Barbie and Lego.

Macy’s has been partnering with Toys“R”Us since last August when it began offering toys online at macys.com/toysrus and ToysRUs.com. The department store giant fulfills toy orders through its system. Macy’s reported toy sales were up 15 percent year-over-year for the first quarter of 2022.

“Macy’s cannot wait to bring the Toys’R’Us experience to life in our stores,” Nata Dvir, Macy’s chief merchandising officer, said in a statement. “We hope Toys’R’Us kids of all ages discover the joy of exploration and play within our shops and families create special memories together. The customer response to our partnership with Toys’R’Us has been incredible and our toy business has seen tremendous growth.”

The department store retailer saw its business bounce back in the first quarter as Macy’s posted a 10.7 percent gain in same-store sales. The chain benefited as consumers returned to buying “occasion-based apparel” for work and social engagements. Macy’s shopper traffic rose 14 percent during the first quarter.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How likely are Macy’s customers to shop its stores for toys this holiday season? What do you think a successful holiday would mean for Toys”R”Us’ comeback plans heading into 2023?

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"I really hope the retailer lets its visual merchandisers go to town and build Toys 'R' Us departments in the branches that are as magical as our memories."

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19 Comments on "Will Toys“R”Us kids help Macy’s have a very merry Christmas?"

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Mark Ryski

When Toys “R” Us went bankrupt they created a huge gap in the toy market, and Macy’s partnership aims to fill that gap. I do believe that a strong toy offering will help drive some incremental traffic to Macy’s stores during the holiday season, given the dearth of toy retailers. A successful holiday season would be good for both Toys “R” Us and Macy’s — they both could use a good one.

Melissa Minkow

Toys are certainly a safe bet when it comes to providing a sales lift during the holiday season. Macy’s will have to do a lot of marketing though to ensure that shoppers are aware of this partnership so that this store-within-a-store becomes the destination it’s intended to be. Would this alone be what saves either brand? No, but it’s a smart pairing.

Neil Saunders

This is a sensible move which should allow Macy’s to cash in on toy spending over the holiday period. However, as with many things Macy’s does, a lot will come down to execution. Macy’s pushed toys in stores last year and has expanded its assortments into this year. There is a weak link with Toys “R” Us in that they have some signage and a cutout of Geoffrey the Giraffe. However the displays, merchandising and general offer are abysmal and look like a flea market. if it wants to recapture the Toys “R” Us spirit, Macy’s is going to have to work a lot harder than it has done to date! After all, rivals like Target, Walmart and Amazon will be pulling out all the stops over the holidays.

Katie Thomas

Getting the assortment right may be a bit of a challenge, but this partnership holds potential for both Toys “R” Us and Macy’s. In a time where nostalgia is still rampant, Millennials who have or are beginning to have kids have a fondness for their own childhood as a Toys “R” Us kid. Macy’s is seeing positive momentum and it’s worth experimenting with which departments are the right ones as consumer needs and behaviors evolve.

Jeff Sward

This is a big deal. And it really, really needs to work. Macy’s is investing a lot of square footage in a potentially significant traffic generator and differentiator. Plus, it sounds like they will make it very experiential. That’s a powerful combination. I’m betting this is an all hands on deck project. Because it’s a really big deal.

Georganne Bender

My children were Toys “R” Us kids; shopping there with them was a fun and unforgettable experience. I want that for my grandkids, too. This is that opportunity, and yet I am hesitant.

Lately, Macy’s has had two temperatures: spectacular (Santaland) and WTF (Story). I really hope the retailer lets its visual merchandisers go to town and build Toys “R” Us departments in the branches that are as magical as our memories.

Carol Spieckerman

The hookup between Toys “R” Us and Macy’s makes sense as a relatively easy category diversification vehicle for Macy’s and a way for WHP to get things revving for Toys “R” Us. Toys “R” Us is the big bricks and clicks asset in WHP’s house so its success is critical to the portfolio. It will be interesting to see if the latest crop of brand marketing purveyors with bricks-based properties (WHP, SPARC) will be able to claim a few turnaround victories when it’s all said and done. If so, retailers on the edge might find new homes.

David Naumann

Adding Toys “R” Us shops in Macy’s stores is a smart move that should stimulate more store traffic and incremental revenues. Toys are a hot segment during the holiday shopping season and Macy’s is filling a gap in many markets that don’t have a lot of retail options for toys. This should help boost Macy’s holiday revenues.

Gene Detroyer

If the customer is already shopping in Macy’s, I suspect they may visit the toy department. Don’t forget about Macy’s Santa Claus. Beyond that, I find it hard to imagine that a shopper will choose Macy’s over Amazon, Walmart, or Target.

A future for Toys “R” Us? They have died too many times. There is no reason for being.

DeAnn Campbell

This is a great classic movie moment, bringing toys back into the heart of Macy’s and return the brand to its origins as a much loved family and community supporter. The Macy’s Parade, Miracle on 34th Street, holiday window displays — this is the Macy’s we’ve all grown up hearing about. Bringing back even some of this magic could well be the start of the turnaround we’ve all been hoping to see for this iconic company.

Richard Hernandez

They need each other. I hope they can come up with something that is an inviting and visual shopping experience. Retailers deserve a good Christmas season.

Jeff Weidauer

Macy’s continues to experience its own challenges. A partnership with Toys “R” Us has potential to help both brands recover some past glory. But execution is critical, and execution hasn’t been Macy’s strength lately.

Raj B. Shroff

I am sure Amazon is excited, this will be a wonderful showroom for them!

Macy’s better have their assortment, inventory, pricing structure and e-commerce sorted out. Will they pick up some sales? Sure. Will it make a dent? Unlikely.

Brandon Rael
We are all Toys “R” Us kids at heart. A generation that grew up with this iconic toy store mourned when the customer experience went downhill and the sales declined, ultimately leading to their bankruptcy. However everyone loves a good comeback story, and it will be fascinating to see how this collaboration with Macy’s turns out. It will all come down to merchandising execution, pricing, storytelling, and doing this dramatically differently in a time where Toys “R” Us is no longer the preeminent toy store. The brand equity has taken quite the hit since 2017. In addition, it’s intriguing that Toys “R” Us’s collaboration with Macy’s is taking a page out of the STORY playbook with their in-store events, with brands like Barbie and Lego. STORY has brought the magic back to the in-person toy shopping experience. It will be fascinating to see how it will materially improve the Toys “R” Us brand and if this collaboration will lead to one of the greatest retail comebacks. If the execution isn’t there, and the authentic brand… Read more »
Brian Kelly
30 days 2 hours ago

My kids are past the age for a trip to TRU, but what I remember was a less than wonderful shopping experience. Certainly not FAO in its hey day, or as a Chicagoan — Marshall Field when it ruled. So no faint memory of happiness. It was run to the diaper wall and try to get out for me.

Macy’s has no proof of being able to import another brand and run it. Story was a disaster. Last year’s trial of TRU was uninspired in those stores I shopped.

Because they seem unable to execute at the store level, there is no reason to go to the store. Especially since Target and even Walmart have the superior store shopping experience.

Those holding Macy’s Loyalty credits will shop Macy’s. All others might be at the massive clearance events at Kohl’s as it liquidates.

Craig Sundstrom

I’m sorry, there must be a typo: the article mentioned 1000 s.f. What … that is correct?

Seriously, this isn’t going to do much for either retailer. If Macy’s wants to get serious about toys, fine: bring back the big, awe-inspiring departments of our childhood(s). (Or, really our memories, ‘cuz the reality was likely different.)

This is just a tease … a pointless tease, IMHO.

Phil Rubin

Maybe this is a case of two “wrongs” making a “right”? Macy’s, in spite of its recent success, is still a shining example of a retailer that no longer lives up to its brand. Much like Toys”R”Us. This hearkens back to Macy’s successful strategy of a “shop within a shop” and if they can address and engage the right customers, this could be an opportunity to build some positive momentum in a slowing economy going into holiday.

All that said, there is nothing about Macy’s that impresses me and I’m at best cautiously optimistic that it’s not too late.

Carlos Arambula

There is a lack of shopping destinations for toys, so I believe it is very likely customers will shop at Macy’s for toys.

The convenience of mall shopping coupled with the nostalgia of visiting the big box toy store during the holidays will be a big draw.

Anil Patel

Macy’s has always been a great shopping destination during the holiday season. Pretty much every person visits Macy’s to shop for holidays. Undeniably, they have great product assortments.

Toys “R” Us’s comeback with Macy’s at this time is an excellent move and would definitely help the brand to make a remarkable new start. Customers do not buy toys and gifts out of necessity, rather they make such purchases impulsively. To further augment the audience, Toys “R” Us is making a comeback with new flavors. People are more accustomed to buying toys from physical stores.

Considering this, the brand has planned various engaging activities to make shopping a pleasurable experience for kids. Additionally, each store will also hold a nine days in-store event, the attractive giveaways will definitely pull a larger crowd. So I think the relationship will be mutually beneficial for both, Macy’s and Toys “R” Us.

"I really hope the retailer lets its visual merchandisers go to town and build Toys 'R' Us departments in the branches that are as magical as our memories."

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