Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I Don't Wanna Grow Up! Toys"R"Us Closing in Buckhead

Popular toy store pulling out of Buckhead.

Wayne, New Jersey-based Toys"R"Us plans to close its Buckhead store at Buckhead Station September 6th.  The store was one of the center's original tenants from when the center opened in late 1996.   

The liquidation sale reportedly began this past Sunday. Current discounts range from 10-40% off retail prices with plenty of merchandise still available.  While I noticed an area marked "Sports" completely cleared out, new Minions and Star Wars merchandise was still available in quantity. 

Toys"R"Us mascot Geoffrey has greeted patrons on Lenox Road at  GA 400 from the building's second floor since opening.  The toy store occupies 45,000 square feet on the center's ground floor.  Buckhead Station is also home to DSW, T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Ulta Beauty, among others.  


A store employee cited "high rent" as the reason for the store's closure.  While I'm sure rent factored into the decision to close, it's strange the store would not stay open through the lucrative holiday shopping season. 

The last remaining ITP Toys"R"Us store will now be on Cobb Parkway near Cumberland Mall. Toys"R"Us also operates stores in Kennesaw, Duluth, Buford, Lithonia, Alpharetta and Douglasville, among others.  

With mounting competition from the likes of Amazon.com and Walmart, Toys"R"Us has been reducing its store count in recent years.  Earlier this year, the retailer closed its longstanding store at Northlake Festival near Northlake Mall. 

Having grown up in metro Atlanta, I have fond memories of Toys"R"Us stores at Northlake and Buckhead, FAO Schwarz (now owned by Toys"R"Us) at Lenox Square and various locations of K.B. Toys (later purchased and liquidated by Toys"R"Us ). I have only the faintest memories of Lionel play world.  Zany Brainy, Store of Knowledge, Discovery Store, Learningsmith were also favorites, but have have all gone the way of most cool stores of my childhood, and closed. 

While there will be no replacing The Toy Store, a locally owned and super cool shop at Ansley Mall, Kazoo Toys in Powers Ferry Square has a nice selection.  The store is a franchise, but has local owners who are involved in the community.  

What was/is your favorite Atlanta area toy store?  What would you like to see open in place of Toys"R"Us?  Did you know that the "brains" behind Zany Brainy are responsible for the far less exciting Five Below?  

Please share your thoughts below.  

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's going in there? It's a huge space.

Anonymous said...

I got my first toy as a child in the mid 1970s from Lionel Play World on Buford Hwy. My son will miss Toys R Us.

AJ said...

Not surprising, but sad nonetheless. As a former child (duh!), there was nothing I loved more than going into a Toys R Us. A store dedicated to children having fun. Finding things to have fun with. It was like heaven. Eventually, I see Toys R Us and Babies R Us being one store combined. Having a store dedicated to toys just doesn't work anymore. Parents want to pay less so they go to Wal-Mart or buy from Amazon. It's sad. It's the reality of business today, but still sad.

Ham said...

I always bought stuff at FAO Schwartz at Lenox and still kind of miss the place. The store was small and less hectic than the larger places, but I could generally find some unique gifts.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this gives the owner of the shopping center a reason to remove the goofy clock and giraffe from the most visible part of the building. They also need to slap a new coat of paint on the whole shopping center, specifically the back side that faces thousands of motorists on GA 400. Without a doubt the biggest eyesore in this part of Buckhead. So 1998.

Anonymous said...

Do you know what is going in there yet?

Stacy said...

I will miss that giraffe! It was unique

Anonymous said...

Toys in Buckhead? I go first to Richard's Variety Store, then Learning Express, Brilliant Sky, and Kazoo.

Anonymous said...

A "Saks off Fifth" Outlet is going in.

Jo orichimaru said...

I worked here for 12 years and will truly missed it. I heard that a saks off 5th is coming to the location. They have already stripped the walls and broken down most of the fixtures.

Anonymous said...

Kind of sad that it's closing. That was sort of a fancy "flagship" sort of Toys R Us when it first opened, but most of the fanciness fell by the wayside within a few years and it became just a regular store. Seems like most of the stores I like to browse and shop in (toy stores, music stores, book stores...) are all going the way of the dodo.

I still remember Lionel Play World in Forest Park from when I was a kid. Loved that place! Growing up in the 70s, I was kind of in the sweet spot where they sold old-school toys (like the model trains), newfangled stuff like Atari 2600 games, and those ever-popular Star Wars action figures. I spent a lot of Friday nights in there with my dad looking for certain elusive action figures.

Anonymous said...

"I like to browse and shop in (toy stores, music stores, book stores...) are all going the way of the dodo." I agree!( Tower records, Toysrus,Warner brother store,Media play,Borders books,etc...) these type places use to offer me sanctuary when shopping with the wife