Come holiday season, Toys R Us will emerge from the dead as Tru Kids with two U.S. stores. One will be in New Jersey.
The Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus and The Galleria in Houston, Texas, will be the first to house the resurrected retailer.
Parsippany-based Tru Kids Inc. is teaming up with San Francisco-based experiential retailer b8ta to launch an immersive, small-format store experience, with a retail experience centered around product discovery and engagement.
“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,” said Richard Barry, chief executive officer of Tru Kids and interim co-CEO of the new Toys R Us joint venture, in a statement.
Brands will have the opportunity to design custom experiences and branded shops to create memorable experiences for parents and children, utilizing b8ta’s Retail as a Service platform, which allows brands to manage in-store experiences and measure how they translate to online sales.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
The Paramus and Houston locations are slated to open for the 2019 holiday season. Additional locations will open throughout 2020.