The well-known and popular Toys “R” Us’ flagship store located in Times Square has closed its business at this venue and shoppers will now have to visit stores at other locations.
The store which has been popular with both locals and tourists has chosen not to renew its lease for 2016.
Toys “R” Us has been part of the Manhattan business landscape at the Times Square location since 2001. Its Ferris wheel and other attractions were a big draw, but the changing toy retail business model made escalating rent prices a far greater challenge than before.
It joins FAO Schwarz, among other retailers, which has been forced to shutter their midtown location because of the increase in rent.
Retail analyst Mary Epner told Reuters in a press report that customers can expect to see more retailers relocating their businesses from their midtown location.
“I think, if they don’t have differentiated product, then, yes, I expect to see it. If you are just competing on price, then that means you need to sell more in order to make up for that higher rent and higher minimum wages. So, for example, since the end of 2008 the Times Square rent is up 2.5 times for retail space.”
Other forces driving the changes currently being witnessed is consumer shift to e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, which continues to grow.
Toys “R” Us has indicated its interest in searching for another midtown Manhattan location.
Edited by Jesus Chan
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