The stores will be different from the old ones…..
Focused more on the interactive and ‘brands’ vs a warehouse for toys …..
Hoping to bring back feelings of childhood nostalgia this holiday season? If you’re lucky enough to be near one of two cities, you’ll have the chance to go to a Toys R Us store again.
Two smaller-format, permanent Toys R Us stores are about to open. The first debuts Saturday at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey. And a second will open in early December at Simon Property Group’s The Galleria in Houston.
It marks the Toys R Us brand’s return to bricks-and-mortar retail after the company was forced to liquidate last year, shuttering its entire fleet of stores. Tru Kids, the revitalized brand’s parent company, has since teamed up with Target to relaunch Toys R Us’ website.
“We wanted to make sure that everywhere you turned in the store there was interactivity,” said Richard Barry, president and CEO of Tru Kids, in an interview at the Paramus store. “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 Toys R Us location in Paramus spans about 6,000 square feet. It will be staffed with roughly a dozen toy pros, who are trained to test toys with kids and their parents, and help shoppers order items online that they don’t see in the store.
Barry said Toys R Us would take upward of 10,000 square feet per store in the future, as it scouts additional real estate…..