Everybody’s talking about Toys 'R' Us ($PRIVATE:TOYSRUS) suddenly, and it’s because the now revived toy chain is openings two new stores: one this weekend in New Jersey, and another in December in Texas. Facebook chatter, tracked by our Talking About data, shows that the news about the recent resurrection of the beloved toy store and liquidated retailer is buzzing.

The 14K spike in July was about the closures and financial downturn for the company. And now that there’s word two new ones are opening, mentions have jumped again from 2K to 3.5K, and look to be moving up even more as the holiday shopping spree continues to pick up steam.

But as the stores slowly start to return to life, we expect the magic will come back. The threat of losing such a memory-inducing wonderland really made people share an outpouring of love, and it's nice to see a bounceback story in these dark times of foreclosures and the dreaded retail apocalypse. 

That's every Toys R Us until summer 2018, when they stopped adding more stores and closed up shop, proverbially. This map is what could be lost to the sands of time, but as long as the one new store opening turns into two more, and then more after that, all will be well again with the world.

We should also mention Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield ($EPA:URW) and Simon Property Groups ($NYSE:SPG), the two REITs who will get the two new Toys R Us stores as tenants. Two stores are a far cry from the 650+ that existed last year, but it's a start.

The total number of closures took a toll on both REITs, and as a result, they all closed in 2019. As unsexy as it sounds, most of the time private equity and debt are the things that kill brands like Toys R Us, instead of whatever other narrative pops ups. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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