Toys "R" Us to open two stores on M50 sites

Cormac Murphy

THE world's largest toy retailer is to open two major outlets in Dublin.

Toys "R" Us is to open the stores along the M50, while it will also operate smaller temporary 'pop up' branches in a number of shopping centres.

Its arrival will provide strong competition to Irish company Smyths Toys, which has been the market leader for decades.

Toys "R" Us has 840 stores in the US and 716 outlets in 34 other countries. It also runs the largest toy store in the world -- its flagship shop in New York's Times Square.

The company is a big employer and yesterday announced it planned to hire about 45,000 seasonal employees in the US to staff its stores.

Commercial real estate company Colliers International is reportedly assembling a list of possible locations for the two 3,716sqm stores planned for Dublin.

The shops could open in a matter of months, it was stated.

It is thought one of the sites is likely to be located between Airside and Blanchardstown on the northside.

The second location is being planned for between Carrickmines and Cherrywood on the other side of the city.

Sites large enough to allow for a car park with 300 spaces are being sought.

When the new outlets are open in Dublin, it will improve the choice available to consumers.

Smyths operates 26 stores in Ireland, six of them in Dublin.

Despite the economic downturn, the company is expanding and plans to open a new store in Navan in October.

Byrnes World of Wonder, another toy shop, closed several of its branches this year.

At one stage, the group had 19 shops in the country.

London toy shop Hamleys opened a store in Dundrum Town Centre two years ago.