Puzzle Zoo Ain't Leaving NorthPark. It Is Moving, Though. If Yer Wondering Why ...

This morning, the folks at NBC-Channel 5 forwarded a link to their subsidiary site's story about changes at NorthPark Center involving H&M, which is presently occupying the old Express spot till its move to more permanent digs in the mall in October. Says the piece, a store manager in the mall has H&M taking over two presently occupied spots -- the Finish Line upstairs and, beneath that, Puzzle Zoo, the only outta-Cali offshoot of the toy store.

I couldn't care less about where H&M is going, but the KXAS item doesn't say whether Puzzle Zoo's moving somewhere else within the mall of moving out of NorthPark -- which would break the heart of a certain 7-year-old who lives in my house. So I shot an e-mail to Puzzle Zoo co-owner Sean Demircift about the toy store's fate. Moments ago, he responded via e-mail: "No we are not leaving we are just moving right down the hall to a better location." He wants to make it very clear: The store's doing well, and the last thing he wants is for anyone to think it's about to adios. "We will be at NorthPark for a long time to come." Whew. Said the 7-year-old who lives in my house.

Update at 1:23 p.m.: Puzzle Zoo's NorthPark manager Steve Salerno says it's moving into the present Eddie Bauer spot next to the new Disney store. With promises of "a competitive new model" that includes "an expanded assortment of product" and the addition of "interactive." Moving date is still TBD.

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