Retailer WH Smith has unveiled the south Essex location part of the next tranche of Toys R Us shops to launch within its stores over the summer as the revival of the children’s chain gathers pace.

The high street group, which has already opened nine Toys R Us shop-in-shops as part of its retail partnership with the brand, is to open another 30 of the concessions by the end of August.

The next wave of 17 will be launched nationwide within the next two months as the group looks to bring back a brand “known and loved since the mid-80s”.

This includes one store in Thurrock. There are two WH Smith locations in Thurrock - inside the Lakeside shopping centre and at Thurrock Services on the M25.

The firm’s move to open the first concessions last year marked a return for the children’s chain following its collapse more than six years ago.

Toys R Us went bust in February 2018, shutting the doors on all its 100 shops and resulting in the loss of more than 2,000 jobs.

The chain was well-loved in Essex, with the Toys R Us outlet in Basildon being one of the first five superstores opened in Britain, along with branches in Cardiff, Bristol, London and Woking.

It announced plans for a relaunch in October 2022, before striking an exclusive deal with WH Smith for concessions in the UK.

Sean Toal, high street managing director at WH Smith, said: “I have seen first-hand how positively our customers have responded to the new ranges.

“Many tell me it feels like a back to the future moment – a brand they had known and loved since the mid-80s which is back to deliver the magic to a whole new generation of families.”

He added: “From Hereford to Hastings, today we’ve unveiled the first 17 locations for the new Toys R Us stores in WHSmith.

“Not only is this an exceptionally exciting time for our colleagues and customers, but we’re also proud to be bucking the trend by continuing to invest in the UK high street.”

Here is the full list of the next 17 Toys R Us shop-in-shops due to open across the WH Smith chain:

– Hereford, Herefordshire

– Fosse Park, Leicester

– Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

– Guildford, Surrey

– Sutton, Surrey

– Shrewsbury, Shropshire

– Salisbury, Wiltshire

– Victoria shopping centre, Nottingham

– Maidstone, Kent

– Woking, Surrey

– Hastings, East Sussex

– Thurrock, Essex

– Newton Abbott, Devon

– Halifax, West Yorkshire

– Lancaster, Lancashire

– George Street, Richmond, London

– Taunton, Somerset