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Downtown State College Children’s Stores to Merge

Two longtime downtown State College children’s stores will merge and operate in a single location starting this summer.

The Animal Kingdom, 103 S. Allen St., will not renew its lease when it ends in June and will instead integrate its stuffed animals, children’s apparel and baby gifts into its sister store, Growing Tree Toys, 202 S. Allen St.

Both stores are owned by Lindsay Williamson, who said in a press release that she is looking forward to creating “a one-stop shop” of specialty toys, books and gifts.

“With one location and one team, we will be laser focused on offering the finest in product, in-store experience and customer service,” Williamson said.

The Animal Kingdom business will continue to be represented at the Growing Tree store with signage and merchandise. The stores already share a website, which will remain the same.

Beginning this week, The Animal Kingdom is operating on limited hours and as a sale outlet for consolidating inventory in preparation for the move. The store will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Online order pickups and deliveries will continue to be available seven days a week.

Growing Tree has been in business for nearly 50 years and The Animal Kingdom has been in downtown State College for 30 years. Williamson has owned The Animal Kingdom for about 10 years and bought Growing Tree in 2019.

Jennifer Heller, Growing Tree store manager, said the merged shops will have “the best of the best” product selection and their consolidation will provide for new opportunities.

“This is an opportunity to serve the community in a bigger way,” Heller said. “We are excited to plan future events and programming inside and outside the store.”