It’s been confirmed that the collapsed toy retail giant, Toys R Us is being revived just in time for the Christmas shopping period.
The toy industry veteran, Richard Barry’s plans are looking to come to fruition, when Toys R Us returns to the US marketplace later this year, in a ‘reimagined and reformatted look’ that will see the scaled version of the retail chain place better emphasis on customer experience.
Barry and his TRU Kids group has teamed with b8ta, a San Francisco-based retailer with an honus on tech to bring the Toys R Us stores back to the US. The 50-50 venture will involve only a limited revival of the 70 year old brand name.
B8ta claims to be reinventing bricks and mortar stores through its ‘retail as a service’ model, that recognises the need to enhance the in-store experience for shoppers, in order to compete with Amazon.
Toys R Us will launch in New Jersey and Texas with an immersive and highly interactive experience designed to lure in families with ‘new events and activities every day.’
“Being able to see something, having that truly immersive experience, is what people crave,” said Phillip Raub, president of b8ta and interim co-CEO of the new venture.
Under the b8ta model, toy brands will pay a subscription fee to offer goods in the stores.
The two mall-based stores are set to open in time for Christmas. Other locations for Toys R Us’ return have not yet been divulged, but backers have said that they will be in ‘prime, high traffic areas.’
Raub has said that up to eight more stores are planned for next year, with the aim of hitting a ‘sweet spot’ of around 10,000 square feet. The co-CEO has also stated that he open to exporting the new venture’s model to Britain, and Europe, though nothing is currently planned.
“This is a very scalable model,” he said. “Right now, we’re in this uncharted territory bringing the stores back. The US will set the tone for the rest of the world. If it’s successful, I imagine other stores would be interested.”