Inside the new Toy ‘R’ Us

From 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. in Arlington, the store will sell baby furniture, which sometimes has problems with door locks and remote-controlled toys. From 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the store in Tyson’s Corner, DC, it will carry not just products, but high-end services, including child care, spa treatments and even plastic surgery.

What’s the deal?

Toys ‘R’ Us is trying to escape the death spiral that has plagued competitors such as Borders and Barnes & Noble. Last month, it announced it was closing 182 stores and did not have plans to reopen them this year. Before this month, it had eight stores open in DC and Maryland and 11 others that had been shut down.

Can I get some toy ideas from the place?

The mega-store is offering a home-care and in-home services desk at each of its stores through October. Customers can get attention for minor ailments, set up appointments for appointments, or visit other departments. The store has a 15-minute appointment with a staff member. It’s not a Toys ‘R’ Us store, but the counselor on duty will look through toys and see what you can bring for your family.

Can I get some deals?

How about play areas with games, dolls, comic books and puzzles? There will be a comic store and specialty toy and children’s books store, and a concessions area, including a 100-foot snack bar, buffet and pizza oven, where you can purchase food, including hot dogs, pretzels and cheeseburgers.

Where are I going?

Thirty stores (four in Virginia) in Virginia and Maryland; 10 stores in Atlanta; nine stores in Chicago; two stores in San Diego; two stores in Los Angeles; three stores in Philadelphia; three stores in the Washington metro area; two stores in Philadelphia; and two stores in Knoxville, Tenn. Next year, the company will open four stores in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, and Oklahoma.

What am I holding there?

The first, next Friday, is at the Chelsea Center for Women & Children in Arlington (2800 S. Fern St.). From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 25 percent of sales will go to The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (1213 Columbia Pike, near downtown). After the opening, the company is planning to hold 20 percent sales at the Chelsea Center for Women & Children for the next month.

Interested in going to one of the new Toy ‘R’ Us stores? If so, send me details.

–Hibah Yousuf

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