By the end of January 2004, Toys R Us will shutter all 146 of its freestanding Kids R Us stores and 36 Imaginarium stores. Closure of the stores, which are highly concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, will put 3 million square feet of community center space back on the market. Friedman Billings Ramsey analyst Paul Morgan says the closings could weaken community center rents in these regions for the first half of the year. Since the company isn't in bankruptcy, it will have to pay material termination fees for the lost future rental income to landlords. For the third quarter of 2003, Toys R Us reported a 3 percent drop in comp sales.

Toys R Us Comparable Store Sales
Division 3Q 2003 3Q 2002
U.S. toy stores -3% 2%
International toy stores 1.70% 4.10%
Babies R Us 3% 2.00%
Kids R Us -11.40% -18%
source: Company reports