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HobbyTown

HobbyTown USA plans to open a pop-up holiday store at Gateway Mall. The company's store at 70th Street and Pioneers Boulevard is shown here in July.

A Lincoln-based retailer is looking to try to fill the holiday void left by the closing of Toys 'R' Us.

HobbyTown USA plans to open a "pop-up" store at Gateway Mall over the holiday shopping season. The store is set to open Monday in a space in the Sears wing of the mall, and it will stay open through the end of the year.

Dan Schmidt, the local franchisee for the Lincoln-based hobby and specialty toy retailer, said he's looking to both get more exposure for the store and also offer a local toy option to shoppers.

"The concept is to kind of be a locally-owned toy store," he said.

Schmidt said he sees an opportunity to fill a void that has been left with the closing of Toys 'R' Us. The chain declared bankruptcy earlier this year and closed its remaining stores, including one in north Lincoln, in June.

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HobbyTown, which has stores in Lincoln at 70th and Pioneers Boulevard and 33rd and Cornhusker Highway, offers toys, trains, games, radio-controlled cars and planes, Radio Shack accessories and other items.

Becky Sidles, Gateway Mall's marketing manager, said the mall is "thrilled" to have HobbyTown for the holiday season.

"Their offerings are a great complement to our retail mix and we look forward to supporting them in a successful season," she said in an email.

Sidles said the mall will play host to a number of other pop-up and seasonal store and retail kiosks, including Morgan’s Munchies, Lularoe by Latoya Nicole, AT&T, Go! Calendar and Games, Hickory Farms and Going Nuts.

Those are in addition to a Lululemon Athletica pop-up store that opened in August and will remain open until July 31.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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