Toys"R"Us (Canada) Ltd. will undertake a major Canadian expansion in the coming months, opening nine new stores, as well as two additional Babies"R"Us stores, in former Bed, Bath and Beyond and buybuy Baby locations.
The expansion means retail banners operated by Canadian entrepreneur Doug Putman will have absorbed about 1.1 million square feet of well-positioned retail space left vacant by the Bed Bath and Beyond bankruptcy. buybuy Baby was a banner affiliated with Bed Bath and Beyond.
Bed Bath and Beyond is to vacate all its locations by the end of June.
The latest Putman announcement indicates Toys"R"Us will add nine new 25,000 square foot stores, while Babies"R"Us will open two new 24,000 square foot locations this summer.
This will bring the total number of Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in Canada to 107.
Babies"R"Us to open in former buybuy Baby stores
"The acquisition of the majority of Canadian Bed Bath & Beyond locations gave us the opportunity to open Toys"R"Us stores in new neighbourhoods across the country. Our new locations will have an elevated in-store experience with bigger retail shops from our vendor partners," Putman said in the announcement.
"Our first two dedicated Babies"R"Us stores will open in Edmonton in former buybuy Baby locations, filling a big gap left in the market when buybuy Baby closed."
Toys”R”Us Canada is a subsidiary of Ancaster, Ont.-based Putman Investments. Putman is also the operator of brands like Sunrise Records, Alex Brands (including Alex Toys in the U.S.), T.Kettle, hmv in the U.K. and more.
In addition to the retail brands, his portfolio includes restaurants, a marina and real estate holdings.
Earlier this month, Putman's company announced the launch of a new home store brand called rooms + spaces, which will also feature a 1,500 to 2,500 square foot Toys"R"Us in the stores. The new brand will lease over 800,000 square feet with its first 21 locations across the country, also in former Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY locations.
In addition to the new store openings, two existing Toys"R"Us stores in Burlington and Newmarket, Ont., will open new 6,000 square foot expanded books and gifting sections for adults this June.
“With rooms + spaces now part of Doug Putman's portfolio of retail brands, there will be even more opportunity to partner with our vendors to bring new and unexpected brands and products into our stores,” Nick Muriella, Toys”R”Us Canada’s vice-president of merchandising and supply chain, said in the announcement.
The companies are hiring 30 to 40 employees for each new location this summer.
The new Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores will be located in the following cities:
- Burnaby: Station Square, 6200 McKay Ave. (opening this summer);
- Kamloops: Columbia Square, 500 Notre Dame Dr. (opening this summer);
- Victoria: Uptown Mall, 3600 Uptown Blvd. (opening in October);
- Edmonton: South Edmonton Common, 2017 98th St. NW (Babies"R"Us only, opening this summer);
- Edmonton: West Edmonton Common, 8882 170 St. NW (Babies"R"Us only, opening this summer);
- Calgary: Brentwood Village, 3630 Brentwood Rd. (opening this summer);
- Calgary: Township Calgary, 80 Longview Common SE (opening this summer);
- Nepean: Barrhaven, 3777 Strandherd Dr. (opening this summer);
- Toronto: Lawrence and Allen Centre (opening in October);
- Lanaudière: Galeries de Lanaudière, 540-570 MontéedesPionniers (opening in October).
- Halifax: 208 Chain Lake Drive (opening this summer)
These additions, as well as rooms + spaces, will bring more than 30 new stores to Canada over the rest of the year.
Rooms + spaces will have stores in Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland, Saskatchewan and B.C.
The Bed, Bath and Beyond demise
Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd. (CTC-T) also acquired 10 leases at former Bed Bath & Beyond locations to expand two of its brands, Mark’s Work Wearhouse and Pro Hockey Life. It acquired the leases for $1.6 million and will backfill 242,000 square feet of space.
The locations include former Bed, Bath and Beyond stores in Grande Prairie, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Strathcona County, Alta.; Langley, B.C.; and Oakville, Ont.
P.J. Czank, the president of Mark’s, previously told RENX the six Mark's stores total about 140,000 square feet while the Pro Hockey Life stores comprise the rest. All are to open by the spring of 2024.