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Babies’R’Us Relaunching at American Dream Megamall

Babies’R’Us is heading back to the U.S. with plans to open its first stateside flagship store this summer.

Owner WHP Global hammered out an agreement with American Dream Mall to open the baby band’s inaugural store at the sprawling East Rutherford, N.J. shopping complex a few months down the line.

The one-stop baby shop offers a full range of products and services. It will introduce interactive experiences including the Stroller Test Track, a Bon Voyage Photo-Opp station for people to share news of their impending arrivals, and a Wishing Tree, where consumers can share their well wishes for the baby they expect to welcome. Before the store opens Babies’R’Us will roll out digital channel content and resources for new and expecting parents.

“Since acquiring both the Babies’R’Us and Toys’R’Us brands in 2021, our mission has been laser-focused on bringing them back to America,” Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and CEO of WHP Global, said.  “We achieved that mission for Toys’R’Us by opening our global flagship at American Dream and through our landmark partnership with Macy’s. Our plan to open Babies’R’Us at American Dream in the coming months is a huge milestone in the return of Babies’R’Us to the U.S.A., and it sets the stage for a national rollout of Babies’R’Us in the future.”

“Following the success of the Toys’R’Us flagship, which opened just over a year ago, we are thrilled to see Babies’R’Us back in the U.S. as part of the unparalleled retail experience that can only be found at American Dream,” Don Ghermezian, American Dream president and CEO, added. “We are excited to add the first Babies’R’Us flagship to our robust retail and entertainment lineup and know that families with young children and expecting parents will be thrilled to have access to this incredible destination for all their baby related needs.”

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The Babies”R”Us brand has been around for more than 30 years old and sells online in 20 countries on top of the 100 standalone and side-by-side Toys”R”Us branded stores carrying its good. It recently entered the Brazilian market for the first time with a licensing deal between WHP and Ragabesh & Co. for roughly 20 freestanding locations in the high-growth consumer market.

WHP, which had already acquired the fashion brands Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud, took a controlling stake in Toys”R”Us in March 2021 encompassing the trademark for Babies ‘R’ Us, Geoffrey the Giraffe, and more than 20 established toy and baby brands under the Toys”R”Us umbrella. At the time, the brands generated over $2 billion in global retail sales annually through nearly 900 branded stores and e-commerce sites across mover than 25 countries. Other institutional investors include Solus Alternative Asset Management and private equity firm Ares Management Corp.

WHP struck a separate deal to revive the toy brand inside Macy’s stores in August 2021 as the department store retailer sought to grow its Gen Z and millennial customer base. In July, Macy’s said it was expanding the WHP partnership by opening 11 new Toys”R”Us shop-in-shops by Oct. 15. That’s on top of the 446 shop-in-shops open as of April. One source with sales knowledge at Macy’s said slow Thanksgiving holiday weekend toy purchases picked up by mid-December.

American Dream seems to be on better footing after opening in the fall of 2019 just months before the pandemic brought in-store shopping to a screeching halt and sparked considerable hand-wringing about the future of the traditional shopping complex.

In November a group led by JPMorgan agreed to extend the mall’s financing through October 2026.

“American Dream’s success continues to grow with dramatically increasing traffic and spend at the complex,” Ghermezian said at the time of the deal that American Dream owner Triple Five reached with financiers. “We are pleased that our lenders, led by JP Morgan, share in our vision and recognize Triple Five and American Dream’s successful and impactful contribution to the global retail and entertainment landscape. 

“American Dream’s new flagship retail stores, first to market concepts, celebrity events, and one-of-a-kind entertainment and attractions will further solidify our position as revolutionaries in the industry,” he added.

Additional reporting by Jessica Binns.