Parsippany, N.J., and San Francisco — Tru Kids Brands, the proud parent of the Toys“R”Us ® brand, and b8ta, the software-powered experiential retailer, have entered into a joint venture to bring Toys“R”Us stores back to the United States. The new store experience will be a highly immersive, smaller-format space.
The first two new Toys“R”Us stores will open this holiday season, located in The Galleria in Houston, a Simon Mall, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. Brand partners and experiences will be announced in the coming weeks.
“We have an incredible opportunity to entirely reimagine the Toys“R”Us brand in the U.S. and are thrilled to partner with b8ta to create a new, highly-engaging retail experience designed for kids, families and to better fit within today’s retail environment,” says Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids Brands and interim co-CEO of the new Toys “R”Us joint venture.
The new Toys“R”Us stores will be highly interactive with new events and activities every day, from seeing toys displayed out of the box to test before making a purchase, to visiting different brand stations to driving learning through play embracing STEAM, or just having fun with Geoffrey ® the Giraffe in the open playspace.
“As a kid, my memory of Toys“R”Us was running up and down the aisles kicking balls and playing with the coolest toys,” says 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 simply 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 b8ta’s innovative experiential retail model, brands will showcase their products in an interactive, playground-like environment, creating an entirely new retail experience centered around product discovery and engagement. Brands also will have the opportunity to design custom experiences and branded shops to help them create memorable experiences for parents and children. This experiential retail environment will leverage b8ta’s Retail as a Service (RaaS) platform, which enables brands to actively manage their in-store experiences and measure how offline experiences translate into online sales.
The companies plan to open additional locations in prime, high-traffic retail markets within the U.S. over the course of 2020. For more information, visit www.toysrus.com.
Established in January 2019, Tru Kids is the parent of Toys “R” Us ®, Babies “R” Us ®, Geoffrey ® the Giraffe, Journey Girls ®, Fastlane ®, True Heroes ®, You & Me ®, Imaginarium ®, and Just Like Home ®. Tru Kids’ license partners currently operate over 700 Toys“R”Us and Babies”R”Us branded stores and e-commerce sites in more than 25 countries across Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The company has offices in New Jersey, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China. For more information, visit www.trukidsbrands.com.
Founded in 2015, with offices in San Francisco and New York, b8ta is a software-powered retailer designed to make physical retail accessible for product makers and exciting for consumers. b8ta operates 17 branded flagship stores throughout the U.S. Additionally, b8ta works with hundreds of other brands and retailers to power their physical retail experience using the company’s proprietary Retail as a Service (RaaS) platform. For more information, visit www.b8ta.com.
SOURCE: Tru Kids and b8ta