The New York Post reports today that Toys 'R' Us' management decided to slash the number of pop-up stores it will open for the holiday season this year by half, to approximately 300. New York Post suggests the decision is likely due to the fact that the 600 Express stores Toys 'R' Us launched last fall was too ambitious an undertaking.
However, as a story we published in our July/August issue attests, the reason might have less to do with the stores' success and more to do with the real estate market. Now that fundamentals at retail properties are thankfully improving recent pop-up players like Toys 'R' Us might find the higher rents no longer justify operating hundreds of temporary locations.
It will be interesting to see how other retailers' holiday store plans stack up against last year's. Chances are there will be fewer pop-ups industry-wide.