BuzzFeed is planning to open a toy store in New York City later this fall.
New York Post reported that the store, called “Camp,” will be located in an 11,000-square-foot space in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. Toys will be featured at the front of the shop, while the back will be an “experiential” area where visitors can take photos to share on social media.
In a unique twist, the store’s theme and merchandise will change several times a year. For example, for several weeks the space might be decorated like a jungle and sell exotic stuffed animals, and then change to reflect an ocean theme, or a sports theme, and so on.
Camp’s strategy is similar to the one started by another Manhattan store, STORY. In fact, Rachel Shechtman, STORY’s founder, is an advisor on the BuzzFeed retail project.
STORY, which was acquired in May by Macy’s, is a business that is reinvented from scratch every three to eight weeks similar to a gallery. Each cycle, a retail partner designs an experience, offering a new point of view and then selling them to consumers.
The news of BuzzFeed’s entry into the retail toy market comes along with reports of a potential revival of the Toys R Us brand, with lenders looking to reorganize the company’s assets into a new company.
Toys R Us had over 700 locations in the U.S. as of April, including those under the Babies R Us banner, and had approximately 1,600 stores globally. According to The Wall Street Journal, Toys R Us’ liquidation was the largest retail closure since Sports Authority closed nearly 500 stores.
“The company did generate operating profits — and without debt, its profitability would be easier to maintain,” Seth R. Freeman, senior managing director at GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group, recently said. “Still, the timing of this move means the new company misses the critical holiday season, in which 34 percent of Toys R Us merchandise is typically sold, giving it a tough three quarters of 2019 to slog through till holiday 2019.”