Toys R Us makes US comeback official with first store opening

Toys R Us made its comeback official with the soft launch of a new retail destination at the Westfield Garden State Plaza mall in New Jersey, US this week.

The new-look Toys R Us store – boasting some 6,000 square feet – has scheduled its grand opening for this Saturday. Another Toys R Us store is scheduled to open on Saturday, December 7 at The Galleria mall in Houston, Texas.

The opening marks the store’s first physical return since the company suffered bankruptcy liquidation in 2017 that saw its full US and UK operations come to a close.

Early images of the new US destinations show Toys R Us’ renewed focus on in-store interactivity and engagement, ditching the shelves upon shelves of product for the new style.

Richard Barry, president and CEO of Tru Kids told CNBC that the new stores will make this their primary focus from here on, stating that Toys R Us “wants to make sure that everywhere you turned in the store there was interactivity.”

He said: “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.”

The stores will be divided into sections based on brands and franchises, including the likes of Hasbro, MGA Entertainment, LEGO and Nintendo which will reportedly have their own ‘shops’ where customers can interact with products.

The 6,00 square feet store will be staffed by ‘toy pros’ trained to test toys with shoppers and help customers order items online that are not in store. Future Toys R Us store will average at around 10,000 square feet per store.

Toys R Us is planning to open 10 stores in 2020, which could include a larger flagship store in New York.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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