New York — Joshua and Amy Hightower drive 40 minutes to a Toys R Us shop in a blue-collar neighbourhood in Wallkill, one of the farthest reaches of the New York City suburbs, so their children can try toys at an amusement area dubbed the "play lab". "We were actually here last night and last week," said Amy Hightower, a 30-year-old stay-at-home mom as her daughter played house and her two sons raced cars in the play lab, which Toys R Us launched in 42 of its stores this year. "It is hard to get them away from this area," she said. The Hightowers may be ideal Toys R Us customers, but so far there has not been enough of them. Many shoppers now make their toy purchases online. Foot traffic at Toys R Us, the largest US toy retailer, has declined, as consumers turn to e-commerce sites such as Amazon.com, mass discount chains, like Wal-Mart Stores, and some small independent toy stores. As Toys R Us aims to exit bankruptcy in 2018 after defaulting on its debt last September, its efforts t...

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