Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us Canada Expand Footprint with New Store Launches in Former Bed Bath & Beyond Locations [Interview with Doug Putman]


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Canadian entrepreneur Doug Putman is opening nine new Toys”R”Us stores and the first two Babies”R”Us locations in Canada.

“The acquisition of the majority of Canadian Bed Bath & Beyond locations gave us the opportunity to open Toys”R”Us stores in new neighbourhoods across the country. Our new locations will have an elevated in-store experience with bigger retail shops from our vendor partners,” said Putman, of Putman Investments. “Our first two dedicated Babies”R”Us stores will open in Edmonton in former buybuy Baby locations, filling a big gap left in the market when buybuy Baby closed.”

The Toys”R”Us stores will be 25,000 square feet while the Babies”R”Us locations will be 24,000 square feet. 

Doug Putman at Toys R Us Canada (Image: Danielle Donville)

Recently, Putman announced he was launching a new Canadian home store brand called rooms + spaces in 21 retail locations formerly occupied by Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuyBABY storefronts with the stores to open in early summer.

He also announced on Wednesday that all new rooms + spaces stores will have a 1,500 to 2,500-square-foot Toys”R”Us shop in shop. This expansion totals more than 300,000 square feet of retail space, and brings the total number of Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us locations across the country to 107.

In addition to the new store openings, two existing Toys”R”Us stores in Burlington and Newmarket, Ontario, will open new 6,000-square-foot expanded books and gifting sections for adults this June. These sections will feature gifts from brands like Umbra, Pavillion and Giftcraft and have a selection of bestselling books and seasonal gifts.

“We create our product assortment based on what our customers demand,” said Nick Muriella, Vice President of Merchandising & Supply Chain, Toys”R”Us Canada. “For example, Toys”R”Us increased its books assortment in 2022 and now with our 10,000-square-foot book sections, we are Canada’s Big-on-Books Toy Store. With rooms + spaces now part of Doug Putman’s portfolio of retail brands, there will be even more opportunity to partner with our vendors to bring new and unexpected brands and products into our stores.”

Toys”R”Us Canada Storefront

The new Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores will be located in the following cities:

British Columbia:

  • Burnaby: Station Square, 6200 McKay Avenue (opening this summer)
  • Kamloops: Columbia Square, 500 Notre Dame Drive (opening this summer)
  • Victoria: Uptown Mall, 3600 Uptown Boulevard (opening in October)


  • Edmonton: South Edmonton Common, 2017 98th Street NW (Babies”R”Us only, opening this summer)
  • Edmonton: West Edmonton Common, 8882 170 Street NW (Babies”R”Us only, opening this summer)
  • Calgary: Brentwood Village, 3630 Brentwood Road (opening this summer)
  • Calgary: Township Calgary, 80 Longview Common SE (opening this summer)


  • Nepean: Barrhaven, 3777 Strandherd Drive (opening this summer)
  • Toronto: Lawrence and Allen Centre (opening in October)


  • Lanaudière: Galeries de Lanaudière, 540-570 Montée des Pionniers (opening in October)

Nova Scotia:

  • Halifax: 208 Chain Lake Drive (opening this summer)

In an interview, Putman said the two brands continue to be a great business for the company since it acquired them about two years ago.

“Since then we’ve done really well in the business. The business continues to perform really well and so from our standpoint we kind of looked at it and thought about expansion opportunities and we’ve been keeping our eye out on that to see if there are good expansion opportunities and we kind of felt with Bed, Bath leaving some of those boxes are really well positioned for Toys”R”Us, Babies”R”Us,” he said.

“Obviously a bunch of them we took for rooms + spaces and the other ones we took for Toys”R”Us, Babies”R”Us.”

In total, he said the company picked up about 35 of the Bed, Bath & Beyond and buybuyBABY spaces.

“We’ve seen great growth in that area,” Putman said about Babies”R”Us. “With buy,buy, BABY leaving the market there’s definitely a void. Some of those buy, buy, BABY did exceptionally well but unfortunately were hampered by what happened with the U.S. in Bed, Bath and so I think our outlook is it’s time for us to try a little bit of a standalone store the way buy, buy, BABY was so we took some of those really good buy, buy, BABY locations and will open up a standalone baby concept. It kind of allows us to give a bit better service, a little bit more specialized. So we’re going to test that out in a couple of stores and see how it goes.”

All those spaces are now spoken for.

“But we’re still looking for more. Every couple of weeks it feels like we’re able to get one or two more deals that are coming across. So we’ll see what the total count comes out to but we’re continuing to actively push to get more locations,” added Putman.

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.


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