Ocean State Job Lot converting 7 former Toys R Us stores
Ocean State Job Lot said Tuesday that it will lease a former Toys R Us building in North Dartmouth and acquire six former locations of the toy store.
The move will also allow the company to open stores in Pennsylvania for the first time.
"The recent closure of Toys 'R' Us retail stores has allowed Ocean State Job Lot to acquire seven outstanding locations at an extraordinary price," Marc Perlman, principal owner and CEO, said in a news release. "In an ever-changing retail environment where many retailers are struggling, Ocean State Job Lot has been able to adapt, enter new markets, re-open closed storefronts, and create new job opportunities."
In addition to a long-term lease for the store on State Road in North Dartmouth, Ocean State Job Lot purchased former Toys R Us stores in Brockton, Massachusetts; Salem, New Hampshire; Nanuet, New York; and Montgomeryville, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
"The Toys 'R' Us locations make sense for us. They are expansive, with an average footprint of 40,000 square feet, and will allow us to offer our customers a fantastic overall shopping experience," Perlman said. “The ‘Toys’ locations were in terrific positions and they were offered in an opportunistic price and that’s the key.”
The former Toys R Us location on East Avenue in Warwick will not be one of them.
“That one wasn’t available at the time,” Perlman said. “These were sales that were available through the receiver and different properties will come online at different times.”
A spokesman said work on the new stores will begin soon and that they are anticipated to open this year, potentially by the summertime.
The expansion will bring Ocean State Job Lot to 140 locations in New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The chain currently employs about 5,000 people, with Perlman noting that roughly 280 additional people will be hired.
‘It’s also nice because it’s the folks who lost their job with ‘Toys’ and now they're going to gain a job with us,” Perlman said, adding that employees and customers alike are excited about the news.
Denise Maillox is a loyal job lot customer. She said she’s happy to hear the company is expanding.
“Too many businesses have made other choices,” Maillox said. “I’m really happy they’re staying.”
Over the last few years, she said she’s been impressed by the ongoing upgrades.
“I can’t believe how big it’s grown and I’m impressed by the quality of the products that are coming out. I like it much better,” she said.
Ocean State Job Lot is based in North Kingstown.
(NBC 10's Sam Read contributed to this report.)