There’s good news in store for toy lovers everywhere -Toys ‘R’Us have announced a comeback, and just in time for the 2019 Christmas season! Parents and kids alike were shocked and dismayed when the beloved toy store chain announced it was closing up shop back in 2017 due to bankruptcy. Even as it announced nationwide closures of a total of 700 stores, Toys ‘R’Us, which employed more than 30,000 people, accounted for around a fifth of all toy sales in the U.S. Who can forget the sad sight of all those empty and forlorn stores where once excited kids roamed among miles of shelves, crammed with toys of all description, their faces lighting up at each turn.
New Look and Approach for Toys ‘R’ Us
But now, Toys ‘R’Us is revamping and coming back with a new approach, which includes smaller stores featuring interactive toy demonstrations, open play areas, daily activities and spaces for special events like birthday parties. What’s not to love! This new direction is the joint venture of Tru Kids Brand, the owners of Toys ‘R’Us and the startup b8ta, owner of a chain of experiential stores.
Toys ‘R’ Us Will Offer an Immersive Buying experience
Despite the way shopping and consumer habits have changed, with more emphasis on online purchasing and less brick and mortar shops, what hasn’t changed is that “kids want to touch everything and simply play” according to Phillip Raub, b8ta’s president, and interim co-CEO of the joint venture. Now kids have the opportunity of playing with the toys before they (or rather their parents) contemplate purchasing them. This creates an experience for parents and kids, rather than just being a buying trip!
Just in time for Christmas
The two new stores will open in time for the holiday season at The Galleria in Houston and in Westfield Garden State Plaza, in Paramus, New Jersey. At nearly 6,500 square feet the new stores will be a third the size of the big-box stores. And there are plans for 10 additional stores in prime, high-traffic retail markets in 2020. Since the 2017 store closures affected so many people, Tru Kids Brands has said that it wants to give priority to hiring former Toys ‘R’ Us employees. Toys ‘R’ Us still operates 900 stores outside the US, in Europe, Asia and India and plans to open more in the near future.