Toys R Us

The Toys R Us on West Waco Drive is being spared as the company closes 180 stores amid a bankruptcy filing.

Staff photo — Jerry Larson

The Toys R Us store on West Waco Drive is surviving the cut and will not close as a result of the toy giant’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

Toys R Us announced this week it is shuttering 180 stores across the country, and it identified the targeted outlets on Wednesday. Eight Toys R Us or Babies R Us locations in Texas will get the ax, most in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas, but Waco’s is not among them, according to a list on the Toys R Us website.

California has 27 stores closing, the most of any state.

“The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus,” CEO David Brandon wrote in a post on the website.

The closings will give the retailer its best chance to successfully emerge from bankruptcy protection, Brandon wrote.

Toys R Us suffered a net loss of $862 million during the first three quarters of fiscal 2017, and Brandon told Bloomberg in a memo that it suffered a “very challenging” holiday period as it continues to compete with Walmart, Target and the growing challenge of online shopping.

Pat Farrar, a local real estate agent who markets the Centerpoint shopping center adjacent to Toys R Us, said he is not surprised the Waco store survived the company’s initial round of closings.

He said when the firm he represents, Reid-Peevey Commercial Real Estate, secured Centerpoint as a client, it reviewed documents showing that Waco’s Toys R Us was among the chain’s better performing sites.

Though located next to Centerpoint, Toys R Us owns the building it occupies on West Waco Drive, Farrar said.

The presence of Toys R Us helps the shopping center’s appeal, he said. Anchors include Smile Doctors, Chuck E. Cheese’s and Souper Salad, and Farrar recently secured a new tenant, The Little Gym, which took about 4,500 square feet left vacant when Gold’s Gym relocated from Centerpoint to the shopping center at Waco Drive and New Road.

Kaufman Properties, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, bought Centerpoint about a year ago, Farrar said. The firm sold the Parkdale shopping center at Bosque Boulevard and Valley Mills Drive before buying Centerpoint, he said.

“They like Waco,” Farrar said.

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