In a significant move to rejuvenate the UK’s high street, WHSmith and Toys”R”Us have announced a new retail collaboration. WHP Global, the owner of Toys”R”Us, confirmed the plans today. This partnership will see the beloved children’s toy brand return to the UK high street through the establishment of Toys”R”Us shop-in-shops in nine WHSmith High Street stores across the country, including in locations such as York, Oxford, Reading, and Cheltenham.

The stores are set to roll out from this month, with the intention of recreating the magic of Toys”R”Us in WHSmith stores. The spaces will be dedicated to toy sections, categorised by age, interest, and product type. Customers will be welcomed by interactive experiences, demonstration tables, and iconic visual elements throughout.

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WHSmith Exterior TRU Monks Cross Hero Image rendering

One of the highlighted features will be a life-size 3D sculpture of Geoffrey the Giraffe, which is bound to be a popular spot for family photographs. Each shop-in-shop will carry an impressive selection of products from top toy brands such as Barbie, Bluey, Fisher Price, Hot Wheels, LEGO, Marvel, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Playmobil, and Star Wars.

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Sean Toal, the Managing Director at WHSmith High Street, expressed his anticipation for the collaboration, saying, “At WHSmith, we’re always exploring new opportunities to launch exciting, new product ranges to our customers on the high street, and our partnership with Toys “R” Us certainly does this!” He added, “Across each of the nine locations, we have a great team of colleagues who look forward to welcoming many new and existing customers over the coming weeks and showcasing the new store layout and, not forgetting, Geoffrey the Giraffe!”

The partnership follows last year’s successful launch of the Toys”R”Us UK’s digital flagship ecommerce website, indicating the brand’s commitment to adapting and growing in the digital age.

Simon Cartey, the UK Commercial Director at Toys”R”Us, expressed his views on the collaboration. He said, “Our new Toys”R”Us shop-in-shops at WHSmith create the perfect home for Toys”R”Us as it returns to the UK high street shopping scene.” Cartey added, “With this collaboration, we are not only bringing back the beloved Toys”R”Us experience but also providing convenient access to a wide range of toys and games. Together, we hope to create a magical and joyful shopping destination for families across the country.”

WHSmith Interior TRU Monks Cross Hero Image Rendering

The first Toys”R”Us opening is planned for Saturday, June 10, at WHSmith Monks Cross Retail Park store in York, with a grand opening event for customers. Following this, eight more Toys”R”Us shop-in-shops will open in the following WHSmith High Street stores throughout the summer:

  • Canterbury (St George Street)
  • Chelmsford (High Street)
  • Cheltenham (High Street)
  • Cwmbran (The Mall)
  • Oxford (Cornmarket Street)
  • Poole (Towngate Shopping Centre)
  • Reading (Broad Street)
  • Solihull (Mell Square)
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