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Monday, July 22, 2019

The Former Toys R Us In Hoover, AL

Front Exterior Shot
My Friday went something like this...
Home to Tuscaloosa, AL to Reform, AL to Columbus, MS.

We did make a stop in Hoover, AL though to check out the new Ollie's Bargain Outlet there. Now I love Ollie's in general. I can't go to the one in Newnan, GA (former KMart building here) very often because I will talk myself into spending money...every...single...time.

Our love for Ollie's isn't the main reason we stopped in Hoover though, it was our love for Toys R Us. The Ollie's in Hoover was formerly one of the two Toys R Us stores that we visited every time we headed out for an Alabama football game or our family reunion.

This was the first time we've been since the Ollie's opened so it was our first opportunity to see the old place and what they did with it.

The evidence that this used to be a Toys R Us was obvious from the jump. First thing I saw were these shopping carts. Upon closer inspection some effort was made to brand them as Ollie's shopping carts, but without covering the R logo it was obvious what they were in a former life.

There were even more obvious signs of it formerly being a Toys R US as Ollie's made no effort to obscure the TRU logo on the cart return.

The Toys R Us 'R' Logo On The Floor
My son made his way in a ahead of me, and that's when my daughter finally dropped a "This kind of makes me sad." The reason for that was the picture on the left side of the page. As you entered the store you were greeted by an unmistakably Toys R Us floor.

For some reason this felt like the most stark reminder of the time that we used to spend here looking for toys. We still got to look for toys (and books...I picked up "Slobberknocker" by Jim Ross for $4 or something), but as I said in all my previous Toys R Us posts there is a big difference between looking at toys at a regular store versus the experience of going to a toy store.

The regular store experience just isn't quite as magical. I touched on that aspect in a previous piece about the closing of TRU.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this was the most spacious Ollie's I have visited out of the three I have been to so far.

Here's the specifics on each.
  • Newnan, GA took over part of a KMart sharing with a Roses Express among other things possibly.

  • Fayetteville, GA took over the original Walmart, but again I think it was only part of that building as a Tractor Supply took over some of that building.

We did also see the former TRU in Tuscaloosa, AL. It will be opening as a HomeGoods soon. Since the building wasn't open yet we didn't stop to grab pics, but will during our next trip.

Based on what I saw outside it looks like there will be no signs whatsoever that it used to be a Toys R Us. Even the remodel outside the store has drastically changed it to the point that you wouldn't know it was a TRU if you didn't already know.

For your convenience, I have shared all the pics that I took in this Google Slides presentation below.