224. Learning Express Toys Closing & Consolidation Sale

2 mins read

Learning Express Toys just announced they’re closing their store at Barrington’s Ice House Mall and merging the Barrington inventory into their Lake Zurich store, where sales are going strong.  For those of us who love and shop at the Barrington location, the news is a big old bummer.  But I spoke with the owner today and the bright side is that there’s a giant toy consolidation sale at the Barrington store, starting this week.

When I found out the Barrington store is closing, I immediately pictured my kids in the store, pulling the pillow pets off the shelves as employees wrapped gifts selected for our latest birthday parties.  There’s no doubt that we’ll miss the convenience of shopping for toys at this location.  Learning Express Toys has been in the Ice House Mall since 2003.  There was another toy store in the space for the 14 years prior to that.

When I asked the owner, Rick Derr, why they made the decision to consolidate he said, simply…

“We lost our “neighborhood” (with other stores closing) in the Ice House Mall, and decided to consolidate Barrington in to Lake Zurich until we find another appropriate opportunity. We look forward to welcoming our customers to our Lake Zurich store, celebrating 16 years on Aug 30th.”

There have been a series of new vacancies at the Ice House Mall in recent months with the departure of Dear Books, The Barrington Home Shoppe and Peter Daniels.  And Chessie’s is again under new ownership.  The owners of the Ice House Mall, Jim & Eleanor Nelson, recently purchased the restaurant from the previous owners who had changed the name to 111 Grille.

When I asked Ice House Mall Marketing Director, Maria Straussner, about this series of recent store closures, here’s what she told me.

“These are all local owners and, when stores are not supported by the community, it makes it difficult for them to stay in business and that’s really what it comes down to.  But the Iee House is talking with potential new tenants for the Learning Express Toys location and we are looking forward to the space being filled for the holiday season.”

Maria says they’re working hard to fill all vacant spaces at the Ice House Mall and they’ve also scheduled a series of upcoming social events, including Chessie’s annual homecoming party, which you’ll find listed in our Community Calendar.

But one of the biggest things going on at the Ice House Mall right now is the huge consolidation toy sale at Learning Express in Barrington with discounts of 25-50% storewide.  It’s only happening in their Barrington location and, if you’re interested, you might want to go soon because I hear toys are selling fast at super prices.

The sale started yesterday and Rick says it was the busiest day they’ve had since opening at the Ice House Mall.  He says the hottest sellers right now are legos and outdoor toys, but there’s still lots of great inventory.  And it’s a final opportunity to say goodbye to a little shop we’ll miss having so close to home.  They’re not sure what there last day will be, but say it will be sooner rather than later once this sale is complete.

The Lake Zurich Learning Express Toy store is right by Dominicks at 315 South Rand Road.    CLICK HERE to find Learning Express Toys on Facebook for up-to-date info about discount percentages and pricing, reach them by phone at 847-381-9559 or visit them online at LakeZurich.LearningExpress-Toys.com.


  1. I was in the store today and yesterday. Their employees said they don’t have a move out date. They said they’re staying until they need to, not until the end of September. They have great deals on great toys, i dont see much being left by the begining of september let alone the end. They also made it very clear that they were fully appreciative of the community and their support unlike this article mentions. Every time I’m In the store the employees are very helpful and know their products very well. I will continue to shop with them at their Lake Zurich location because of their great customer service. It will be sad to see them leave Barrington, but the Lake Zurich store is only ten minutes away.

  2. We will miss the Learning Express. Rick Derr was a good neighbor to us at at Young Tootsies Children Shoes .I am sure his Lake Zurich store will continue to do well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog