Toys ‘R’ Us is making a comeback and has opened up a new retail shop just in time for the holiday season.
A namesake store held a soft opening on Wednesday at the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey, ahead of the official opening on Saturday.
Another Toys ‘R’ Us store is scheduled to open on Saturday, December 7, at The Galleria mall in Houston, Texas.
Toys ‘R’ Us is opening a new retail store at the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey, on Saturday
Pictured: a look inside the New Jersey Toys ‘R’ Us store that will be the company’s first comeback after undergoing bankruptcy
This return comes after the company underwent a very public bankruptcy liquidation in 2017 that saw the entirety of their US stores – around 800 – close nationwide in 2018.
For years, the toy mega-store was in a losing battle with competitors like Walmart and e-commerce giant Amazon.
Tru Kids, the brand’s parent company, has since teamed up with Target to help relaunch the Toys ‘R’ Us website.
Toys ‘R’ Us underwent a bankruptcy liquidation in 2017 that saw the entirety of their US store shutter their doors
Richard Barry, president and CEO of Tru Kids, told CNBC that the new stores will focus in interactivity and do away with endless rows of shelved toys.
Barry said: ‘We wanted to make sure that everywhere you turned in the store there was interactivity.’
‘We have an amazing number of digital experiences throughout the store, but we also have good old analog [experiences]. … Take the products out of the boxes and kids will be able to get their hands on them.’
Richard Barry (pictured): ‘We wanted to make sure that everywhere you turned in the store there was interactivity
Pictured: new Toys ‘R’ Us store will create sections for different toy brands allow customers to visit different shops
Yahoo Finance reports that the stores will be divided into sections based on some of the biggest toy brands.
Brands like Hasbro, Little Tikes maker MGA Entertainment, Lego and Nintendo will have their own shops where customers can interact with the merchandise.
Lego is reportedly adding a life-sized Lego model in the stores so visitors can take pictures.
There will also be a 3D virtual Geoffrey the Giraffe that children can play with in a ‘magical mirror.’
New Toys ‘R’ Us stores will focus on interactivity with customers and will include a host of digital experiences
A pair of onsite Toys ‘R’ Us employees at the New Jersey store play with some electronics in the Nintendo section on Wednesday
The New Jersey is scheduled to be one of 10 new Toys ‘R’ Us stores to open by 2020
The new Toys ‘R’ Us location will span around 6,000-square-feet and will be staffed with nearly a dozen ‘toy pros’, or employees who are trained to test toys with shoppers and help customers order items online that are not in the store.
In the future, Toys ‘R’ Us stores will encompass 10,000-square-feet per store.
‘We believe that Toys ‘R’ Us was renowned, and customers really saw us as the experts in the space,’ Barry said.
‘And we want to make sure we deliver on that, but in a very different way than we were before, because this is a…high-touch, experiential store.’
Pictured: Customers shopping at a Toys ‘R’ Us in 2018 before the store would be closed
He told ABC 7: ‘Customers are interacting with brands in a different way, they’re interacting through experiences and we’re doing that in a huge way with this store.’
In total, Toys ‘R’ Us is planning to open 10 stores in 2020, which could include a larger flagship store in New York City.
In July, Tru Kids announced it would be teaming up with software retailer b8ta to open store again.
B8ta, which has more than a dozen of its own stores nationwide, is helping Toys ‘R’ Us lease out space to toy brands inside the new stores.
The company has installed sensors into the ceilings of the New Jersey and Texas stores to collect information on metrics, like traffic patterns and shopper cadence, to provide feedback on how well the space is performing.
Previously, b8ta has worked with brands like Nerf and Lego to create small shops within Toys R Us.