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Toys ‘R’ Us Taps Tech Startup to Bring its Stores Back

Company's parent brand will bring Toys“R” Us stores back to the United States this holiday season.

Tru Kids and b8ta, the software-powered experiential retailer have set up a joint venture to launch a new store that will deliver the hottest toys and brands, carefully curated and displayed in smaller-format retail spaces.

The first two new Toys“R” Us stores will open this holiday season, located in The Galleria in Houston, Texas, a Simon Mall, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. Brand partners and experiences will be announced in the coming weeks.

“With a 70 year heritage, the Toys“R” Us brand is beloved by kids and families around the world, and continues to play a leading role in the hearts and minds of today’s consumers,” said Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids and Interim co-CEO of the new Toys“R”Us joint venture. “We have an incredible opportunity to entirely reimagine the Toys“R” Us brand in the U.S. 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.”

The new toy stores of R "Us" will be a must-see place for children to learn, play and fall in love with the latest and most popular toys, and parents will enjoy communicating with their children and ignite their own children's sense of play. Stores will be very interactive with new events and activities every day, from toy demonstrations to pre-purchase testing, from visiting various outlets to driving lessons using STEAM-enabled games, or merely having fun with Giraffe Geoffrey in the open play space. 

“As a kid, my memory of Toys“R” Us was running up and down the aisles kicking balls and playing with the coolest toys,” told Phillip Raub, co-founder, and president of b8ta and Interim co-CEO of the Toys“R” Us joint venture. “As the retail landscape changes, so do consumer shopping habits. But what hasn’t changed is that kids want to touch everything and 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.”

Using the innovative empirical b8ta retail model, brands will showcase their products in an interactive, playground-like environment, creating a whole new retail experience focused on product discovery and engagement. Brands will also have the opportunity to develop their own and branded stores to help parents and children get an unforgettable experience. This sophisticated retail environment will use the b8ta Retail as a Service (RaaS) platform, which will allow brands to actively manage their store experience and measure how offline sales experience transforms into online.

“We launched b8ta to change the fundamental infrastructure of retail, from the business model to the customer experience. b8ta is proud to bring Toys“R” Us stores back to the U.S. alongside our partner, Tru Kids, and with our Retail as a Service platform as its engine,” said Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta.

During 2020, the companies plan to open additional locations in prime, high-traffic retail markets within the U.S.

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