One of the best known toy shops in the world has been forced out of its prime location in New York City. Until it closed last Wednesday, the Toys R Us store on the US city’s landmark Times Square had been providing that wow factor to youngsters and oldsters alike for 14 continuous years.
From the day it opened, this branch of Toys R Us had been an irresistible tourism magnet. Highlights were a big wheel that was 60-feet high, a Barbie dollhouse the size of a real house and a 20-foot T-Rex that roared at customers in greeting.
Toys R Us spokesperson Elizabeth Gaerlan stated that the lease on the premises was due for renewal in January. She carried on by saying that the exorbitant cost of renting had forced the company into giving up the lease.
As a codicil, Ms Gaerlan added Toys R Us planned to open a new store in Manhattan once a suitable premises was found. She also said the firm would do its utmost to secure alternate positions for the Times Square store’s 350 staff.
Bow Tie Partners owns the building that housed the store and agent C Bradley Mendelson noted that rentals had shot through the roof since the dawn of the new millennium. He explained that the rent on the huge premises was likely to be around the US$42 million (£28.4 million) a year mark.
He carried on by saying one square foot of ground-level space on Times Square cost US$2,000 (£1,350) to rent now whereas 14 years ago it was only US$400 (£270). He finished off with the claim that no single firm could afford to pay that amount of rent.