Toys R Us is completing its liquidation sales and shutting down all of its U.S. stores (see "Toys ‘R’ Us Closing All US Stores") on or before this Friday, June 29, the company announced on social media.   As this happens, other companies are moving deeper into the toy space, likely to include games, and a heavy roster of bidders is lining up to acquire the company’s name and domains.

Party City will open 50 pop-up toy stores to operate from September through the holidays, according to Bloomberg.  Some stores may operate in former Toys ‘R’ Us locations.  The company has a lot of experience operating pop-up stores; it ran around 250 Halloween City pop-up stores last year, which may cohabit space with the new toy pop-ups.

The company is calling the new pop-ups, which it’s considering a test, Toy City.  Strategic Marks, which owns the KB Stores mark, had been seeking an alliance with Party City to operate stores under the KB Toys brand (see "Owner of KB Toys Brand Hopes to Open 1,000 Pop-Up Stores"), but has now decided to operate pop-up stores under its own brand. Party City will also add more toys to its website, according to the report.

The nation’s largest retailer is also expanding its toy offerings.  Walmart told shareholders it was planning to expand its store space for toys and buy up more inventory at its annual meeting late last month, according to Digital Commerce 360.

Meanwhile, over 115 companies have expressed interest in the Toys ‘R’ Us intellectual property, including the company’s brand, according to the New York Post, with the auction for the IP now pushed back to August 6 to allow more time to evaluate bidders.

Among those potential bidders for the IP is former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO Jerry Storch, who’s working with multiple investors on a plan to reboot the chain, according to Bloomberg.  Storch’s plan, which relies on winning the auction for the brand, involves several hundred stores combining Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us locations under one roof, a format that Storch pioneered when he was CEO, according to the report.  Storch took over shortly after the company was bought by Bain, KKR, and Vornado in 2005 and ran the company, with good results, until 2013.