CUYAHOGA FALLS — Some shuttered Toys R Us stores may not be vacant for long as other retail chains are showing an interest in moving in.
The future of the Chapel Hill location on Howe Avenue, however, is still up in the air.
The last of the 30 Toys R Us locations in Ohio closed their doors forever on Saturday, June 30. According to a letter from the one-time toy store giant to Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, there were 32 Toys R Us stores in the Buckeye State.
The Cuyahoga Falls store located at 590 Howe Ave. closed on June 30. There were 47 employees there at that time.
Fred Guerra, planning director for the city of Cuyahoga Falls, said no one has approached him about purchasing the Howe Avenue property, nor has he heard anything about a retail replacement for Toys R Us.
There was also a Toys R Us in Aurora, located in the Aurora Farms outlet mall at 549 S. Chillicothe Road. That location closed May 15. At that time, there were three employees.
Columbus-based discount and closeout retailer Big Lots is among the companies already snapping up those properties, reports The Columbus Dispatch. Big Lots has successfully bid on Toys R Us locations in Virginia and Illinois through bankruptcy auctions.
Cuyahoga Falls already has a Big Lots, located at 405 Howe Ave.
Toys R Us properties have also been purchased by other retailers including, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Ashley HomeStore, Aldi, Burlington and Scandinavian Designs.
Toys R Us, based in New Jersey, had been struggling with debt since 2005. In addition to heavy debt, the chain was brought down by changing trends, including online shopping and mobile games.
Steve Wiandt can be reached at 330-541-9420, or firstname.lastname@example.org.