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The Toys & # 39; R & # 39; Us gives families something they can't buy on Amazon



It comes two years after the company filed for bankruptcy and closed all its locations – seemingly for good – and immediately after the toy maker Hasbro ( HAS ) reported disappointing third quarter sales are focused on the most important sales season in the industry. Hasbro's main competitor, Mattel ( MAT ) enjoyed sales growth of 3% over the same period. The success of both toy companies was largely tied to R 'Us toys before the financial demise and the resurgence of the retailer.
The updated Toys R will open two upgraded locations before Black Friday at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ and The Galleria in Houston.

"We know that customers love shopping as a means of entertainment. It's something embedded in the DNA of human beings, "Richard Barry, president and CEO of parent company" R "Us, the company that reported on Tru Kids to CNN Business. "We also know that kids and families are looking for things to do on the weekends or when school is out. We know parents and families really appreciate the game and the value of the toys as a whole. As we thought about the strategy, we wanted to put all these things together. . "

According to the company, these are not just shops. The grocery chain will partner with startup retailer B8ta to create hands-on, engaging experiences for children and their parents, who may have fond memories of the "R" toys from their own childhoods.

Old R Toys The stores in our country were behemoths with an area of ​​40,000 square meters with goods stacked on endless rows of metal shelves. The new stores are approximately 6,500 square feet with interactive spaces for children and parents to play with toys.

The "R" Us toy website also shows fewer toys, but gives more details about them. Those looking to buy items are redirected to Target ( TGT ) which provides inventory and fulfillment services.

The B8ta, which designs interactive store displays where shoppers can try the latest products, will bring theaters, video games and other engaging items to the new "R" Us toy stores.

"We have a huge tree house in the middle of the store where the kids will be able to get in, a movie event space in the store. We'll have great brands in the store, "Barry said.

John Goodman, CEO of Candytopia, helped implement this shop-o-tainment idea two years before partnering with Toys" R "Us earlier this year to launch "Toys R Us Adventure," an indoor gaming tour that appears in select malls nationwide for a limited time. The off-site attraction costs $ 20 for children ages 4-1

2 and $ 28 for It has themed areas for toys for young children, which the company hopes will be a parent

  A child sits in a play area during Toys

These pop-up playgrounds are not permanent stores, and in about six months they will set up shop elsewhere.

Goodman, who was previously CEO of The Abyss [19659002] ( GPS ), Kmart and Sears used a similar plan to help Candytopia founder Jackie Sorkin transform ozhdenichkata and business events in multimillion tourist attraction with pastry holidays celebrated by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore. Chicago and Atlanta generated national headlines last week when families celebrated the return of the brand. Photos and videos of smiling, laughing kids walking through simulated snow caves interacting with the mascot "R" To us, Jeffrey, the Giraffe mascot, is circulating now on Instagram and Facebook.

The "R" Us Adventure toys at the Lenox Market Atlanta shopping mall were nearly full, Goodman said.

"We feel that we are adding service to the mall in terms of attracting additional traffic, from 1700 to 2200 people every day," Goodman told CNN Business. "It's like a circus. The circus comes to town and the circus goes away. It may or may not come back in a few years. That's how our model is built."

  A child plays in a toy pit with a toy

This idea is not entirely new, but it is coming up elsewhere. The mindset behind the new mall of the American Dream of New Jersey, which opened on Friday, came up with a similar concept. The Rutherford, NJ shopping mall is less a place to buy consumer goods and more for an indoor theme park with theme cartoon attractions in its Nickelodeon universe. It also has an indoor ski run, a water park and an ice rink with an NHL controller.

Scott Webb, CEO of digital consulting firm Avionos, says it could be the future of brick-and-mortar toys for retail shopping Encouraging kids to play with toys that are not tied to TV characters , movies, or video games, is critical to an industry that has struggled in an age where strolling kids watch streaming services often avoid toys for commercials that you don't see in their favorite shows.

"Children are as many as they are now digital users," Web tells CNN Business. "The hasbro numbers confirm this. The toy segments that are really thriving are those related to some kind of intellectual property, whether it's Fortnite or Marvel or Star Wars."

Web said that "R" toys Us turning the company into a toy discovery brand as opposed to a retailer can be a good strategy. "I think they really have a lot of equity to build a new niche in this role," he continued. "But I think it would be difficult to foresee ever finding the same dominance in retail."


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