Party City looks to fill Toys 'R' Us void with pop-up stores

As Toys 'R' Us winds down its iconic run as America’s go-to toy store, Party City is one retailer that is already looking to fill that gaping hole, especially around holiday-shopping season, as quickly as possible.

Party City announced on Monday it plans to open 50 pop-up toy stores throughout the country from September through the holiday-shopping season. The announcement comes ahead of the Friday deadline when all Toys 'R' Us locations are expected to close.  The new temporary stores will be called ‘Toy City’ and will coincide with the company’s Halloween City pop-up stores in a variety of locations across the country.

Party City CEO James M. Harrison said the move is an opportunity for the company to enhance its customers’ experience.

“The creation of a Toy City concept to complement our temporary seasonal retail strategy is a logical extension of our brand; one that will allow us to leverage our existing pop-up store capabilities and capitalize on the category whitespace that has recently been created,” Harrison said in statement.

Additionally, by co-locating the Toy City pop-ups alongside Halloween City locations, Harrison says the company will leverage the strength of these stores to create a concurrent seasonal and toy destination, “with an integrated and seamless shopping and checkout experience.”

Party City laid claim to the toy niche back in March when it started adding more toys to its website as Toys 'R' Us announced plans to close. Top toymakers like Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc. have already signed up to feature their products in the stores.

All Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us stores will close on or before Friday. However, many stores nationwide won’t make it until Friday with some expecting to close Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Customers can expect markdowns between 60% and 90%.