It’s the new way to retail. Not just in New Jersey but all over the country.

Large National retailers are realizing that the cost of operating massive, standalone stores is prohibitive and takes away from the enormous investments they’ve made in their e-commerce businesses.

Toys “R” Us learned that the hard way when it closed it’s retail locations. Now In a new growing trend, Toys “R” Us is back—only in store-in-store format-located inside of Macy’s stores.

In a similar move, Disney Stores, which announced in March it would close 60 locations, now says that they, too, will be joining the shop in shop formula, opening Disney mini-stores inside of Target locations across the country.

Disney admits the pandemic shifted their priorities and realized that joining forces with Target would be the best way to keep their retail profile alive and well.

According to their store locator, the four New Jersey Disney store locations that are scheduled to close are: Deptford Mall in Deptford, Menlo Park Mall in Edison, Jackson Premium Outlet in Jackson and Garden State Plaza in Paramus. They were all close on or about September 15.This leaves only one free standing Disney Store in NJ: The Jersey Gardens location in Elizabeth.

Stephanie Young, president of consumer products, games and publishing, said in a USA Today article, “While consumer behavior has shifted toward online shopping, the global pandemic has changed what consumers expect from a retailer.” Young went on to say they aim to meet consumers "where they are already spending their time.”

And I guess where we are spending our time is at fewer and fewer department stores. And more and more at Target, where recently it was also announced that the cosmetics retailer Ulta would also open mini shops.

With Amazon beginning to grow its retail presence, will there soon be only 3 stores in the country: Target, Walmart, and Amazon?

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

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