Toys R US #8733
6711 W. Newberry Rd.
In March of last year all of us retail fans learned the sad news that Toys R US would be liquidating their remaining stores. Since I've been an adult for quite a while now, the purchase of toys never really entered my mind , unless a niece or nephews birthday was coming up. I'll always remember the famous Toys R US jingle about being a Toys R US kid. Some of you probably know I grew up in Panama City, FL. During most of my younger years there, our closest Toys R US was in Tallahassee. One time my parents took me over to Tallahassee with them on a special trip. Before we left we went to Toys R Us. Honestly I don't remember the toy my parents got me, but this was way back in 1991.
Panama City would eventually receive a Toys R US of its own. I can't remember exactly when the P. C. Toys R US opened, it was in either '96 or '97.
I guess for whatever reason (probably my age) I didn't really shop at the P.C. Toys R US much. When I moved to Gainesville in 2008 I discovered a Toys R US was located here.
In the below photo is the abandoned Toys R US #8733.
According to property records, this store opened in 1986-interestingly at about the same time Newberry Square shopping center opened on the other side of I-75 from the Oaks Mall.
The Gainesville Toys R US seemed to me like it was housed in a unique looking building. It was a red brick structure with a nice set of awnings over the walkway. This is very nice for Florida shopping. All of the rain we get here in this state makes for miserable shopping trips, so having this overhang and awning really makes things better in that regard. Also, the store walkway lead up into an enclosed entrance corridor that made for even more shelter from not only rain, but cold winds. It was a cold day when I came here to take pictures, so I sure appreciated that enclosed corridor.
Looking from left to right across the front of the store, everything was quiet. Not a creature was stirring, not even YonWooRetail2! No cars, no bikes, no people, no anything- just leftover TRU signage.
It looks like the place could still be open, but......
Let's get that camera rolling and take a walk up to this place to see if anything is left!
A lot of open dirty-looking floors left. To the left is checkout lane number 10, of course. To the left of checkout lane 10 was the Returns counter if I called that correctly. Looking strait to the back in this photo appears to be the stock room, which looks like it contains chairs and product stands...not sure really..
Panning to the right a little is checkout lanes 6 and 7. Off to the right side of the big room appears to have been alcoves for a different age group or type of toys. I didn't come in here recently before the place closed, so I can't remember what used to be on that side of the store.
Lastly, when I decided to walk over to a place of interest right of the Toys R US, I saw that another store sign existed on the right side of the building. This was good, because if you had been new to this shopping center and had been visiting the former dollar theater of comic book shop next door, you wouldn't immediately see Toys R US.
I hate to say it, because this shopping center just west of the Oaks Mall looks lonely now. With the closing of Gator Cinemas and the comic book store, this place looks pretty empty. The main places left in this plaza are restaurants: Jason's Deli and Ocean Buffet. I think there is still an eyeglass place, and scrubs store and maybe a couple of other small businesses.
This was a fairly short post, but then again I'm a little new to this blogging thing. I hope you all enjoyed this little tour of another one of Geoffery's late homes. Toys R US it has been real. I will always remember you, regardless of having hardly ever shopped with you. You make toy buying a special treat for no matter how old a person could be.
Until next time,