SHOPPERS have been left divided after it was revealed a popular children’s toy shop could be heading to Colchester's city centre.

WH Smith is hoping to add a Toys R Us section to its city centre store in Red Lion Walk, the Gazette understands. 

It comes after a planning application was sent to Colchester Council asking for permission to install a matt laminate vinyl window graphic on a section of the shop's front window.

The proposed graphic shows the classic Toys R Us sign, a giraffe, and text which says "in store now at WH Smith, go play".

Residents and shoppers have now reacted to the news, with some being left disappointed only a small section in another store is planned for the brand's revival, as opposed to a full shop.

Gazette: Area - a Street View image of WH Smith in Red Lion WalkArea - a Street View image of WH Smith in Red Lion Walk (Image: Google Maps)

Louise Richards, said: “It’s not Toys R Us.

“It’s a small area in the WH Smith. We need more shops not cramming more into a shop that already contains a Post Office.”

Colchester resident, Neil Conway believes it would be beneficial for children to have a Toys R Us outside of the city centre - rather than in it.

He said: “It’s best out of the city, let the little ones chill instead of being dragged around the city centre.”

However, Lisa Barkham likes the idea of a Toys R Us in Colchester but thinks there could be a better space for the brand.

She said: “The Debenhams or Wilko sites would be perfect for our town.

“We need more shops that have baby items in.”

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and by March 2018 the retailer had announced it would be closing all its UK stores.

Last year, however, WH Smith partnered with Toys R Us to pilot a select amount of Toys R Us ‘store-in-stores’ across the UK.

Now as part of the collaboration 30 more new shops are set to open by the end of this financial year.

The application is awaiting approval and currently there is no specific date for when a Toys R Us area could launch in Colchester's WH Smith branch.

Castle Ward Councillor, Mr Richard Kirkby-Taylor, has spoken to the Gazette about the possible new addition.

Gazette: Pleased - Councillor Richard Kirkby-TaylorPleased - Councillor Richard Kirkby-Taylor (Image: Newsquest)

He said: “Obviously, shops choosing to invest in our town centre is exactly what we want, it could be good to draw more people into the town centre.

“We want to be attracting more attention to the town centre.

“Any signage just needs to fit in as we are actively trying to bring the standard of signage in the city centre up to scratch.

“We are aware many shops are not displaying in a way we want Colchester to be seen.

“We are working to bring these up the right standard.”