August 11, 2023
SiteRise Series: Flagship Store Openings | August 2023
In this edition, we dive into the comeback of one of the greatest toy brands in American history and another popular DTC brand jumping into retail.

Flagship Store Openings | August Edition

Last edition we saw a number of DTC brands make the leap into retail, in this edition we have a special case of an old retail giant making a comeback with a new flagship opening in New Jersey. Let's dive in!

Toys R Us - Toys & Games

Toys R Us was founded in 1948 by Charles Lazarus after he returned from World War II. Lazarus was inspired by what was then the emerging post-war "baby boom" and sought a way to capitalize. The first store was opened in Washington DC selling baby goods and clothes shortly after. It wasn't until 1956 when Mr. Lazarus decided to start selling kids toys and games as well. That was the turning point and the brand became an American stable for the next 50+ years. At the height of it's power, Toy R Us had nearly 1,500 locations around the world and controlled over 25% of the global toy market.

All good things come to an end at some point and in 2017 Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy and in 2018 all US locations were closed. But they were deeply missed....Fortune noted that the absence of the retailer during the 2018 holiday season represented a US$4 billion chunk of toy sales from which other retailers could benefit.

In 2021 the company rose from the ashes under new ownership and opened a beautiful two story flagship location in American Dream Mall in New Jersey. Furthermore the company plans to open up to 400 locations inside Macy's locations over the next year.

Babies R Us - Kids

Just like it's old parent company mentioned above, Babies R Us is making a comeback after closing all it's doors nearly half a decade ago. The brand opened a new 10,000 square foot flagship location in the same American Dream mall as Toys R Us just last month (July 2023). The new location will carry an assortment of products and services catering to the needs of new and expecting parents, according to WHP Global, a brand acquisition and management firm that bought both retail chains from Tru Kids in 2021.

Shady Rays - Eyewear

Shady Rays is a polarized sunglasses brand that is famous for its top-notch quality and affordable prices. What began as a small family-owned business, has now grown to become one of the fastest-growing independent sunglasses companies in the world! Shady Rays' commitment to quality without sacrificing affordability has made it a go-to brand for sunglasses.

Shady Rays' new flagship location in Lexington (opened in August 2023) is sure to be a treat for their fans and customers. The location offers a range of sunglasses, including the Classics and the Navigator, among other collections. The location seeks to provide an immersive shopping experience, with knowledgeable staff ready to assist customers with any inquiries.

The new flagship location also has an in-house optical lab that can cater to prescription lens needs while customers wait or enjoy a coffee from the in-store café.

Emporio Armani - Apparel

Emporio Armani has just returned to New York’s Soho district with a new 4,000 square foot flagship store. Emporio Armani is a high-end fashion brand founded by Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani. It is a subsidiary line under the larger Armani brand, catering to a younger and more casual audience than the main Giorgio Armani line.

The brand now has over 500 locations world wide.

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