Toys “R” Us’s relaunch is officially here, as the international toy, clothing, video game, and baby product retailer is scheduled to open its two new stores in the United States. The smaller-format stores will put more emphasis on experience through its design rather than occupy huge spaces as its previously done.
The first Toys “R” Us store will debut November 30 at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey. Meanwhile, the second location at Simon Property Group’s The Galleria in Houston is expected to debut in early December. The Paramus location is 6,000 square feet and will be staffed with roughly a dozen workers that are trained to test toys with children and parents.
This marks the brand’s return to brick-and-mortar retail following the company’s liquidation last year, which forced it to shut down its entire fleet of stores. Tru Kids, which has been instrumental in getting its retailer brand back on its feet, is teaming up with Target to relaunch the Toys “R” Us website.
“We wanted to make sure that everywhere you turned in the store there was interactivity,” said Richard Barry, president and CEO of Tru Kids, in an interview at the Paramus store. “We have an amazing number of digital experiences throughout the store, but we also have good old analog [experiences]. … Take the products out of the boxes and kids will be able to get their hands on them.”
Although store sizes will be reduced in the retailer’s latest incarnation, Barry has stated Toys “R” Us stores would take up to 10,000 square feet per store in the future. The company still plans to open 10 stores nationwide next year, which may also include a bigger New York flagship location.