A Victoria big-box toy store is closing its doors.
Toys “R” Us at the Mayfair Shopping Centre in Victoria is shuttering for good on Jan. 2, 2023 after operating for nearly three decades, a spokesperson confirmed to CHEK News
A sign at the front entrance reads: “Thank you for everything! We’re so proud to have been part of this community and we hope to return in the future.”
The store, located near the mall’s food court, backs onto Blanshard Street. The Mayfair location is one of two Toys “R” Us outlets on Vancouver Island, with the other located at Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo.
“I think for Mayfair, there’s just another plan moving forward,” said Valen Tam, director of investments at Central Walk which operates the mall. “A very strong international anchor tenant will be moving into that space.”
The news follows Putman Investments, a Canadian-based company, announcing in August 2021 that it would purchase Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us Canada from Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
That was after the American toy chain filed for bankruptcy in September 2018, saying it was $5 billion in debt with plans to close 180 outlets in the United States. It noted increased competition and more customers opting for online shopping were to blame.
However, Canadian stores stayed open.
“Since its split from the U.S., we’ve watched the way in which the company has grown and focused on the Canadian customer. Much has been achieved and we’re excited to help to drive the business forward,” Doug Putman, founder of Putman Investments, said in an August 2021 news release announcing the purchase.
At the time, Putman said Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us employed just under 5,000 people out of the retailer’s head office in Vaughn, Ont., and its 81 stores across 10 provinces.
It’s unclear why the Mayfair Toys “R” Us location is closing, but CHEK News has reached out to Putman for more information.