Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Toys R Us makes a high street return

Toys R Us is poised for a dramatic comeback with a plan to open a new store in Cheltenham.

The move to premises within WH Smith in Cheltenham's High Street will mark a five-year absence of the brand for shoppers in the county after the retailer shuttered its store in St Ann Way, Gloucester, store in line with a move into administration.

Last autumn, Toys R Us and sister brand, Babies R Us, announced a UK comeback in the form of digital ecommerce operations which were launched ahead of Christmas 2022, the company's new website marking the brand's appetite for a slice of the fast-growing ecommerce sector.

Toys R Us's previous bricks-and-mortar approach was cited broadly as the reason for the retailer's collapse. Toys R Us was a toy, baby and clothing retail store founded in 1957 by Charles P. Lazarus in Rockville, Maryland.

At its peak, it operated 739 US-based stores and more than 750 stores elsewhere. DIfficulties began in the early 200s: in 2000, Toys R Us partnered with Amazon in a 10-year contract, paying the eCommerce company $50m a year plus a percentage of their sales so that it could be the exclusive seller of toys and baby products on Amazon.

The online analyst Failory said: "Although many people might wonder if Amazon killed Toys R Us, the first major competition it experienced was from affordable "big box" stores, such as Walmart, Kmart, Target, Costco, and others. This competition gradually started to eat away at Toys R Us's sales, and the company began racking up billions of dollars of debt, trying to maintain its stores and operations."

However, Toys R Us signed an agreement with WH Smith in October 2022 which would deliver a physical presence, alongside its new online offer, in WH Smith outlets across the UK.

And with nine locations being tipped for the return, Cheltenham is among them. 

A planning application for the new signage has now been lodged with Cheltenham Borough Council.

Related Articles

HMRC issues £3.2 million in money laundering penalties Image

HMRC issues £3.2 million in money laundering penalties

A Gloucester firm is among hundreds of businesses fined a total of £3.2 million for breaching anti-money laundering rules.

Versarien revenues fall while losses rise Image

Versarien revenues fall while losses rise

Gloucestershire-based advanced engineering materials group Versarien is looking to bounce back after a "challenging" period.

Plan to support 100,000 jobs launched at national net zero conference  Image

Plan to support 100,000 jobs launched at national net zero conference

A new plan for how South Wales and Western England could make the UK a global leader in net zero energy has been unveiled at a national conference.

Partners line up for 'Inspiring the Forest' event Image

Partners line up for 'Inspiring the Forest' event

A ground-breaking initiative to raise young people’s aspirations in the Forest of Dean is being launched by the Forest Economic Partnership (FEP) later this month.

Copyright 2023 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.