Toys 'R' Us Partners with b8ta for Play-Focused Stores
The rumors of a holiday comeback for Toys “R” Us were confirmed today, thanks to the help of new partner, b8ta. In b8ta’s short history, it has successfully created non-traditional stores that act as hybrid between an e-commerce site and a brick and mortar. The experimental-driven stores allow shoppers to really get to know a product before making a purchase.
Now, the retail-as-a-service company is lending its expertise to Tru Kids Inc, parent of Toys “R” Us, as the beloved toy store sets out to create a more immersive retail experience for customers. To start, Toys R Us will launch in two U.S. locations: the Galleria in Houston, and Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. The company is expected to announce more details on which brands and experiences will be available at the stores in the coming weeks.
“We have an incredible opportunity to entirely reimagine the Toys“R”Us brand in the U.S.,” said Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids and Interim co-CEO of the new venture. “(We) 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.”
As hands-on and STEAM play become a widely preferred method of learning, Toys “R” Us and b8ta are working to build stores that incorporate these types of activities. According to TechCrunch, the new Toys “R” Us stores will have movie theaters, video games, a treehouse, STEAM workshops, and more all inside the roughly 10,000 square-foot space. Being that kids are so “handsy” by nature, Tru Kids Inc. really couldn’t have picked a better team for the job.
“As a kid, my memory of Toys“R”Us was running up and down the aisles kicking balls and playing with the coolest toys,” said 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.”