Toys R Us confirms return to US this November

Joint venture with experiential retail firm b8ta will launch new smaller-format stores in Texas and New Jersey by year’s end

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 18.07.2019 | Retail

Toys R Us confirms return to US this November thumbnail

The first two new Toys R Us stores will open this November in Texas and New Jersey, acting as pilot stores for Tru Kids’ future vision of the once dominant toy giant.

Small-format stores will focus on shopping as an experience, with a pared down, curated offering of toys in stark contrast to the warehouse-style Toys R Us stores of old.

Both new stores will be located within shopping malls: The Galleria in Houston, Texas, a Simon Mall, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. 

Tru Kids, which owns and manages the Toys R Us brand and its mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe, has entered into a joint venture with b8ta, a tech-focused experiential retailer, to design and launch the stores.

The plan is to tap b8ta’s Retail as a Service platform, which enables brands to actively manage their presence in-store and capture data on how those experiences translate into sales.

By partnering directly with toy brands, Tru Kids aims to create “an interactive, playground-like environment, creating an entirely new retail experience centered around product discovery and engagement”.

“We have an incredible opportunity to entirely reimagine the Toys"R"Us brand in the US and are thrilled to partner with b8ta and key toy vendors to create a new, highly-engaging retail experience designed for kids, families and to better fit within today's retail environment," says Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids, who will also act as Interim co-CEO of the joint venture alongside b8ta founder Phillip Raub.

"As a kid, my memory of Toys"R"Us was running up and down the aisles kicking balls and playing with the coolest toys,"adds Phillip. "As the retail landscape changes, so do consumer shopping habits. But what hasn't changed is that kids want to touch everything and simply play.

“In partnership with Richard and his team, we are excited to bring back Toys"R"Us in an immersive way, focused on creating a fun and engaging experience for kids—and adults, too."

The companies plan to open additional locations in prime, high-traffic retail markets within the US over the course of 2020.

British Garden Centres joins Toymaster thumbnail

British Garden Centres joins Toymaster

A quarter of the chain’s 16 branches have joined the toy buying group

Lee-Anne Neale joins Posh Paws thumbnail

Lee-Anne Neale joins Posh Paws

Lee-Anne joins as the plush specialist’s new Sales Manager, bringing more than 20 years’ experience to the role

Zuru’s Tangle Pets coming this October thumbnail

Zuru’s Tangle Pets coming this October

New themed extension to the popular Tangle fidget toy and accessory line will launch in six collectable variants this autumn

Press Releases

DKL readies for moon landing celebrations thumbnail

DKL readies for moon landing celebrations

New Plus-Plus space range is ideal to commemorate this year’s 50th anniversary of the historic achievement

Smart launches Smart Farmer thumbnail

Smart launches Smart Farmer

Lastest launch gives little ones an agricultrual qunadry to puzzle over and get their brains moo-ving

Smiles for Zimpli emoji range thumbnail

Smiles for Zimpli emoji range

A crowd pleaser at Toy Fair, Zimpli’s new emoji-licensed poop-shaped slime and Baff Bombz range is anything but a stinker

Rachel Lowe delivers Call the Midwife board game thumbnail

Rachel Lowe delivers Call the Midwife board game

Game creator Rachel Lowe adapts the hit TV show in licensed board game – launching just in time for Mother’s ...