More than a year has passed since the bankruptcy of Toys “R” Us, and the subsequent closure of its 700 U.S. stores. The toy retailer was bought by Tru Kids Brands who, in a recent Toys ‘R’ Us press release, announced they would be bringing the store back to the U.S. in time for the 2019 holiday season. Tru Kids is partnering up with b8ta to bring shoppers “…a new store experience that will deliver the hottest toy products and brands, carefully curated and showcased in highly immersive smaller-format spaces.” An image from the press release provides a concept of what the new storefront may look like. The first two Toys “R” Us stores will open in The Galleria, a Simon Mall in Houston, Texas and the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey.
B8ta is known for its Retail as a Service platform and seeks to apply this experience in helping Toys “R” Us to become a go-to destination for experiencing new products in ways that are interactive, meaningful and fun. According to the press release, the stores will regularly offer events and activities for children, STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, art and math) learning stations, and more. “We launched b8ta to change the fundamental infrastructure of retail, from the business model to the customer experience. b8ta is proud to bring Toys “R” Us stores back to the U.S. alongside our partner, Tru Kids, and with our Retail as a Service platform as its engine,” said Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta. “The new Toys “R” Us stores will be the most progressive and advanced stores in its category in the world, and we hope to surprise and delight kids for generations to come.”
The new model is an effort to remain competitive in an ever changing retail landscape. While only two Toys “R” Us stores will open in the U.S. for 2019, there are plans to open more stores in major retail locations throughout 2020.
Image of Toys “R” Us retail concept courtesy of Toys “R” Us.