Since the start of 2019, the rumor mill has been churning with talks of a potential Toys R Us comeback here in the United States. In February, Tru Kids Inc. officially adopted the once beloved toy store and it wasn’t long until they put an action plan in place. In less than a year, Tru Kids established a store layout, secured vendors, devised an e-commerce site, and now they’ve come up with an entire new in-store experience with the help of their new partner, b8ta. Both companies will own 50 percent of the venture, and together they’re planning to open several stores in high-traffic areas throughout 2020.
In their short history, b8ta has opened up stores across the country that act as a hybrid between an e-commerce site and a brick and mortar. B8ta stores are experimental-driven meaning they actually want you to test out an item for before making a purchase. Now, Toys R Us is hoping to bring that same concept to their own stores opening up in Houston and New Jersey this November.
The new Toys R Us will be much different than what most of us remember. For starters the stores will only be about a third of the size they once were. They’ll also include several stations for kids to learn and play. Tru Kids says there will be new events and activities every day including sample toys, STEAM learning stations, and even Geoffrey the Giraffe. According to TechCrunch, we can also expect to see theaters for movies and video games and a tree house. B8ta president Phillip Raub says he wants the new Toys R Us to be a fun and engaging experience for both kids and adults.
This experiential retail environment will leverage b8ta’s Retail as a Service platform, which enables brands to actively manage their in-store experiences and measure how offline experiences translate into online sales. And with just a few months left until they re-enter the retail space, Toys R Us truly couldn’t have picked a better team than b8ta for the job.