Toys”R”Us is coming back this holiday season in full swing, with its parent company, Tru Kids Brands, hoping to make the retailer a “must-visit destination” for parents and their kids.
Two small stores, at about 6,500 sq. ft. will open in The Galleria in Houston, Texas, a Simon Mall, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, compared to the original stores 30,000 sq. ft. buildings.
Tru Kids Brands and b8ta have entered into a 50/50 joint venture to make these new Toys”R”Us stores a “highly immersive smaller-format space.” Bringing in more interactivity with kids and their parents with new and popular toys, while also introducing STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) workshops. They will even have theaters for videogames and movies.
“As the retail landscape changes, so do consumer shopping habits,” said Phillip Raub, co-founder, and president of b8ta and Interim co-CEO of the Toys”R”Us joint venture. “But what hasn’t changed is that kids want to touch everything and simply play. In partnership with [Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids and Interim co-CEO of the new Toys”R”Us joint venture] 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.”
b8ta’s company’s goal is “to make physical retail accessible for product makers and exciting for consumers … helping customers discover, try, buy and learn about new products in real life.” They have helped retailers before such as Macy’s stay relevant in the error of online shopping.
Similar to Games-as-a-Service, they have created Retail-as-a-Service. As the gaming community as already said numerous times, this concept does not work for videogames; however, for retail stores, this may be what they need to stay afloat in this now ever-changing world of technology.
“The new Toys”R”Us stores will be the most progressive and advanced stores in its category in the world, and we hope to surprise and delight kids for generations to come,” said Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta.