Toys R Us leaving Langley Park

Company says its expired lease will not be renewed

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006


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Christopher Anderson⁄The Gazette
Orlando Aparico and Emily Agire pack their car Friday aftershopping with Aparico’s daughter, Helen Aparico, at the Toys R Us in Langley Park. The store will close in January.

When Adelphi resident Pat Cinotti walks out of Langley Park’s Toys R Us after her Christmas shopping this year, it will be with a weight heavier than the satchels filled with presents she plans to buy for her 13 grandchildren.

That’s because the store, which opened in the Langley Park Shopping Center in November 1996, will close on Jan. 31. Kathleen Waugh, a spokeswoman for Toys R Us, confirmed the planned closure in an interview.

The store’s lease has expired and the company decided not to renew it, Waugh said, declining further comment. ‘‘Retailers open and close for various reasons,” she said.

There are 35 full-time employees at the store.

‘‘Where possible there will be opportunities for those employees to work at other Toys R Us locations,” Waugh said. She added that placement options will be partly the decision of the employees if they want to make the longer commute to another location.

Other Toys R Us stores are in Gaithersburg, Rockville, Columbia and Glen Burnie.

A Toys R Us on Annapolis Road in New Carrollton closed in February 2003 after its roof collapsed under the weight of melting snow.

Waugh declined to comment on the Langley Park store’s annual income, but the Wayne, N.J.-based company brought in $11.2 billion in 2005.

With more than 1,400 toy and baby specialty stores worldwide, the business ranks 208th on Fortune Magazine’s top 500 companies.

No other Toys R Us stores are closing, Waugh said.

‘‘I’ve been going to Toys R Us for years,” Cinotti said. ‘‘This is so convenient and this is the only place that’s convenient to D.C. and Prince George’s County.”

Cinotti has lived in the Hillandale area since 1962. She usually buys items for family members and relatives at the Langley Park location.

‘‘If it’s a birthday or Christmas, I go to Toys R Us,” she said.

A number of stores have been closing in the area. The Metzerott Plaza at the corner of Riggs and Adelphi roads in Adelphi, which is located a short distance from Toys R Us, earlier this month lost the Safeway grocery store, a fixture in the mall for more than 30 years. Bustin’ Suds Laundromat and a McDonald’s restaurant also stand empty in that center.

Residents would likely turn to other nearby toy stores to fill the void, including KB Toys in Hyattsville and Aunt Emily’s Dolls in Riverdale.

E-mail Sarah Nemeth at snemeth@gazettte.net.