As people look forward to the holidays, Toys “R” Us is already making preparations to close one of its most iconic stores located in Times Square.
According to a report from NJ.com, Toys “R” Us has decided not to renew its lease of its Times Square location, which covers 110,000 square feet of store space that was built three floors high. The current lease agreement ends officially on December 30 and the company has said it decided not to renew due to rising rental costs. Crain’s reports the ground floor alone of the store space located at 1514 Broadway now costs $2,500 to rent. This figure is reportedly double when compared to the space’s rental fee some 15 years ago.
As the Toys “R” Us store between West 44th and 45th streets closes for good, the company will also reportedly lay off as much as 373 jobs. Moreover, a notice filed by the toy chain with the New York State Department of Labor reveals layoffs will be done on December 30 itself. An unnamed spokeswoman from Toys “R” Us has also said, “We are working diligently to assist employees who express an interest in open positions at other locations once the store closes after the 2015 holiday season.”
The plan to close a store and lay off employees is not a secret at Toys “R” Us. Earlier this year, the company said it is looking to “right-size” the cost structure of the company, while streamlining its organization. This initiative began when the company realized it can potentially save $1250 to $200 million in costs last year. Since then, Toys “R” Us has been working hard to achieve the said cost savings, over $100 million in savings already realized in fiscal 2014 alone.
Nonetheless, Toys “R” Us reportedly plans to open a 55,000 square-foot store inside American Dream Meadowlands. This is expected to open in 2017.