As part of its new development strategy, Toys R Us will open modern smaller format stores.
Toys R Us, an American toy and children's goods retailer, has announced the opening of its first store since the company's bankruptcy in 2017. A kind of "Return" of the legendary brand will take place at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. Another opening is scheduled for early December at The Gallery Mall in Houston.
The bankruptcy petition of the largest toy seller in the USA was issued in September 2017. Initially, it was announced that 380 stores would be liquidated, but in the spring of 2018, it was announced that all 1750 stores of the retailer, including about 800 in the U.S., would be closed. The parent company that owns Toys R Us and Babies R Us is Tru Kids, which was established in early 2019. To restart the retail network this year, the company has teamed up with food giant Target.
A supermarket of about 550 sq.m. will be opened in Paramus. According to the President and CEO of the company Richard Barry, it will be an interactive store, with a lot of digital impressions, which, at the same time, will preserve the details of the "good old" format.
There will be about ten toy consultants working in the retail space to test products with children and their parents, as well as to help order online products from an expanded range. The assortment of the shop will be about 1500 items. Four key brands - Lego, Nintendo, Nerf, and Paw Patrol - will have expanded shopping areas with product testing capabilities. Small space in the store will be allocated for parties and themed events.
In the future, Toys R Us plans to rent an average of 900-1000 sqm for stores. Currently, the retailer is looking for suitable sites for development. In 2020, the company is preparing to open ten stores in the U.S., including the launch of its flagship format in New York. The retailer's partner is the B8ta company, which owns premises in shopping malls (also cooperates with Macy's on launching pop-up stores), which helps Toys R Us to rent out space for the largest toy brands, as well as installs sensors and security cameras to assess customer behavior in stores.