The US retail industry is abuzz this week with news Toys ‘R’ Us is set to make a comeback after last year becoming one of the most high-profile collapses seen in the retail sector.
News reports indicate two locations are set to open in Texas and New Jersey in November with the further hope they may open 10 stores by 2020.
And Toys ‘R’ Us aren’t the only ones rising from the retail ashes. Here’s an insight into big retail names making a comeback.
Toys ‘R’ Us Story 2
Toys ‘R’ Us was seen as one of the greatest victims of the modern retail age. The retail giant filed for bankruptcy in 2017, with 740 stores closing last year. But now the retailer is set to open again under a smaller store format.
CBS News explains the return of the toy seller will be managed as a joint venture between tech retailer b8ta and Tru Kids, a company founded in January to manage the Toys ‘R ‘Us brand after the retail chain’s liquidation last year in bankruptcy court.
The first stores will open at Galleria Mall in Houston, Texas and Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey and their aim is to also foster online sales.
Other big brands back in town
As Loss Prevention Media notes, Toys ‘R’ Us isn’t the only retailer seeking to survive a near brush with obsolescence.
They note Radio Shack is now also back in business after partnering with Hobby Town USA. Radio Shack filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after store closures began almost a decade prior. And like Toys ‘R’ Us their resurgence has hinged on reinvention, with the brand rolling out Radio Shack “express” store.
“Radio Shack dealerships had re-opened around 500 stores as of 2018,” LPM explains.
The retail mall
Meanwhile, what was once the mainstay of US retail is also rumored to be rising again, with the retail mall back on developer’s agendas.
In March, Hudson Yards opened to the public in New York delivering one-million-square-foot of retail, with 100 stores across seven levels.
In New Jersey, the American Dream Meadowland mega-mall has also confirmed an opening date of October 25. Once open to the public it will feature more than 400 retailers in a complex comprising 45 per cent retail and 55 per cent entertainment. A mammoth food court, rollercoasters, waterpark and snow park will be among the attractions.
In the interim, CNBC noted in January US mall vacancy rates had backed off from a seven-year high, and were now holding steady.
Part of a renaissance
The resurgence of once declining retailers is part of what GlobalData Retail managing director Neil Saunders believes is a national trend.
“The American retail sector is enjoying a renaissance,” he told the Real Deal. “Sentiment is upbeat and spending fairly carefree.”
An opinion piece in the Financial Times agrees, with writer Brooke Masters noting many recipients of the FT ‘Bold in Business Awards’ this year were retailers who were seizing opportunity amidst adversity.
“There is some hope that we may be seeing that kind of resurgence today,” she reflected.
‘The winners impressed us with how they have responded to everything from supply chain challenges to environmental degradation.
“These companies serve as a reminder that when change hits hard, well-run, well-positioned businesses are the ones that benefit.
“Retailers can prosper when they offer shoppers a real reason to buy there.”