Today’s news:

Toys ‘R’ Us coming to Downtown!

It’s Christmas in August!

Toys “R” Us will open a “seasonal” store in the empty Sid’s Hardware store on Jay Street, plus two more in Park Slope, bringing toys, games and Geoffrey the Giraffe to the otherwise all-business Downtown area through Christmas.

The announcement came in the form of a sign on the defunct toolshed between Willoughby and Johnson streets. Store officials said they’re excited to bring the “express” shops to the borough’s heavily trafficked areas, if only for a short time.

“The foot traffic in this popular shopping destination provides a considerable opportunity to assert our toy authority position,” said Jerry Storch, chairman of the national chain. “At the same time, it’ll increase our brand penetration and drive incremental sales during this important time of year.”

The chain’s initial look at Downtown was first reported by Brownstoner this week.

It will be the first Toys “R” Us in Downtown since the much-maligned location in the Albee Square Mall on Fulton Street near DeKalb Avenue closed in 2008.

Downtown won’t be the only target for last-minute toy shoppers this season — Toys “R” Us officials confirmed that two additional express stores will open up in Park Slope, one at Flatbush Avenue and Sterling Place, and another at Fifth Avenue near 11th Street.

It’s unclear what will happen to the shop once the Christmas buying season ends — or if Toys “R” Us would even want to stay, given the “high” rents that developer Bruce Ratner is apparently asking.

In February, Sid’s workers told us that the shop was forced to move to Gowanus after its initial sweet deal with Ratner expired, and the landlord upped the rent.

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