Toys ‘R’ Us stores reopens for business
After breaking everyone’s hearts with its store closures in 2018, Toys ‘R’ Us will reportedly re-open for business (albeit in a much smaller capacity) for the 2019 holiday season, reports Bloomberg.
Inc. CEO Richard Barry, who used to be an executive at Toys ‘R’ Us, plans to open a half-dozen stores in the U.S. by the end of the year. A new online store is also expected to arrive as well.
The new Toys ‘R’ Us stores he’s pitching are said to be about 10,000 square feet, which would be about a third of the size of the closed ones.
In addition to selling toys, the stores will reportedly “have more experiences, like play areas.” It’s unclear what exactly this means.
Previous Toys ‘R’ Us stores used to have different play areas such as the “R Zone,” which not only stocked new video games, but also had kiosks for visitors to demo new devices and games.
Toys ‘R’ Us’ return has been in the works since earlier in 2019. After being absorbed by Tru Kids Inc., Barry said in February there was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write the next chapter of Toys ‘R’ Us.”
“We have an incredible team focused on bringing Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us back in a completely new and reimagined way, so the U.S. doesn’t have to go through another holiday without these beloved brands,” said Barry.
Raising Toys ‘R’ Us from the dead won’t be an easy challenge. Since the closure of its 700 stores in 2018, competing retailers such as Target and Walmart have ramped up efforts to court toy buyers.
The biggest threat will of course be Amazon. The e-commerce juggernaut released its own printed toy catalog and mailed them out customers as a clear attempt to replace Toys ‘R’ Us’ yearly catalog.
Business aside, we’re stoked for Toys ‘R’ Us to return because as convenient as online shopping is, nothing beats going into a real store and seeing aisles and aisles of toys (and then inevitably being told by your parents you can only buy one thing).