No plans for local Toys “R” Us resurrection

Andy Ouriel | Sep 05, 2021 2:00 PM

Construction work continues on the new TJ Maxx, inside a portion of the former Macy’s, at the Sandusky Mall.
Register photo/ANDY OURIEL

PERKINS TWP. — Across the nation, many Macy’s stores invited Toys “R” Us to set up shop inside 400 of its locations.

Unfortunately for local Geoffrey the Giraffe buffs, one won’t come to the Sandusky Mall.

“That former Macy’s space is now being redeveloped into several different store spaces,” mall spokesman Joe Bell said. “Macy’s is no longer the tenant there, so it would not be able to install a Toys ‘R’ Us or any other kind of shop.”

Beyond T.J. Maxx, Bell couldn’t disclose the specific stores going inside this space, citing confidentiality reasons.

A partnership between two of American’s most well-known brands, Macy’s and Toys “R” Us, became public on Aug. 19. The store-within-a-store concept should roll out in 2022.

Both retailers have experienced some tough times as of late:

  • Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017, closing all of its U.S. stores — including the one in Sandusky on Milan Road (U.S. 250) just south of Sandusky Mall — in 2018.
  • Macy’s has closed hundreds of stores since the mid-2010s, which includes the one in Sandusky Mall.

More on the former Macy’s

One store confirmed to go inside the former Macy’s, however, is another major retailer: T.J. Maxx.

Bell previously said that sometime in this fall, T.J. Maxx’s “contractor will begin the final interior buildout, and the store should be ready to open.”

Operating elsewhere in Sandusky Mall today, T.J. Maxx takes up roughly the same amount of space as it will in its new location. But a new layout “is designed to be more visible from the outside and more functional for the staff,” Bell said.

In other words, upon opening, Bell noted people can enter T.J. Maxx straight from the parking lot without first needing to walk inside the physical mall building. It then becomes a true anchor store like JCPenney.

An American department store chain, T.J. Maxx sells items — namely brand-name clothes, shoes, home decor, handbags and more — generally lower than other major similar stores. With more than 1,000 stores nationwide, it’s one of the largest clothing retailers across the country.