BuzzFeed plans to open a toy store in the Flatiron District of New York City in time for the holidays, the New York Post reports. The space is being sublet from Canadian apparel brand Joe Fresh, which recently vacated, according to the report.
The 11,000-square-foot store (plus 2,500 square feet of basement space) is dubbed "Camp," and will rotate merchandise and its interior design "every few months," according to the report, which quotes unnamed sources.
That includes a selling area in the front and an experiential play area in back of the store, according to the report. Buzzfeed didn't immediately return Retail Dive's request for comment.
Buzzfeed's toy store plans, if true, reflect both the opportunity left by the demise of Toys R Us and the appeal of New York City for brick-and-mortar retail. The gossipy news site already sells various types of merchandise, including its own beauty brand and kitchen supplies offered exclusively through Walmart.
Meanwhile, Walmart, Target and Amazon, which all helped set the stage for Toys R Us's collapse in bankruptcy, are expanding their offerings in the category. Walmart said last month that it would boost its toy assortment by 30% in stores and 40% online. Target soon followed with announced plans to double its new and exclusive toys for the season. Meanwhile, Amazon, which is reportedly planning a toy catalog this year, could boost its toy sales by as much as 30% in some categories this season, according to One Click Retail.
BJ's Wholesale, Party City, Kohl's, J.C. Penney, Five Below, Costco and a host of others are also going after Toys R Us' lost share, as are specialty retailers, including independent stores. Independent toy retailer members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association said this past spring that 2018 will be "the best year yet for neighborhood toy stores nationwide" and dismissed efforts by mass merchants to capitalize on the Toys R Us decline.
Not least among retailers hoping to grab back the market is FAO Schwarz, whose new 20,000-square foot flagship New York City store is set to open Nov. 16 at Rockefeller Plaza and marks a return of one of the city's iconic holiday destinations. New York City is the top choice for both pop-ups and brands' first permanent locations, according to a report on over 100 top online retailers from commercial real estate firm JLL.