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Toys R Us to open 350 holiday toy shops

September 14, 2009 |  7:01 pm

With Christmas just a few months away, Toys R Us Inc. is boosting its holiday lineup with hundreds of new toy shops.

The toy giant is expected to announce on Tuesday plans to open about 350 Holiday Express toy locations across the country by early October in an effort to drive sales and grab market share from other toy sellers.

The expansion includes more than 80 pop-up stores in shopping centers nationwide and more than 260 toy shops within the company’s Babies R Us stores. The Wayne, N.J., retailer currently operates 847 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in the U.S.

Pop-up stores are temporary locations that are usually tied to a specific event, such as Halloween or back-to-school season, and close after a few weeks or months. They have become more popular lately as prime retail spaces sit vacant during the economic downturn.

The company said the Holiday Express shops would offer customers the “hottest gifts,” including dolls, action figures and educational toys, at great values.

“We’re aggressively expanding our toy-selling footprint to make Toys R Us more accessible than ever for busy shoppers this holiday season,” Chief Executive Jerry Storch said. “The foot traffic in these popular shopping destinations provides a considerable opportunity to assert our toy authority position, increase our brand penetration and drive incremental sales during this important time of year.”

The shops are scheduled to close in mid-January.

-- Andrea Chang