The Toys R Us comeback tour is on.
This Saturday, the toy retailer will open the doors to its first retail store since the chain shut down its remaining US retail locations last summer.
Located at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey – close to parent company Tru Kids’ headquarters – the new store promises to do away with the warehouse-style feel of old, instead welcoming consumers to “an immersive modern shopping experience”.
New features include an interactive ‘magical mirror’ that lets kids play with a virtual facsimile of Geoffrey, the Toys R Us mascot. Tru Kids, Toys R U’s the parent company, has also partnered with companies also have dedicated areas, complete with new experiences. Kids can trial Hasbro’s latest Nerf blasters, put their creativity to the test with LEGO interactive play tables, or head to Spin Master’s four-foot PAW Patrol lookout tower.
Flashy technology aside, Richard told reporters at the Paramus store that the best bits of “good old analogue” Toys R Us will return in this new era. There will be trained in-store staff called a ‘Play Pro’ to give advice, demonstrations of the latest playthings, and the magic ingredient that makes bricks-and-mortar retail so important to the toy industry: “Take the products out of the boxes and kids will be able to get their hands on them.”
“Toys”R”Us is built into the fabric of childhood and for more than 70 years has been the most trusted source for toys and play,” Richard adds. “With the return of Toys”R”Us stores in the US, we are bringing a highly engaging, experience-driven retail destination that celebrates play and deepens the connection between the world’s best toy, play, and entertainment brands and customers.”
Other toy brands partnering with Tru Kids on the new store include Schleich, Nintendo, Melissa and Doug, VTech and LeapFrog, and Cra-Z-Art. At the core of the store is a space called the Play-A-Round Theatre, where visitors can learn about more than 40 brands carried in-store.
The second planned Toys R Us store will open at The Galleria, a Simon Mall in Houston, Texas, next Saturday, 7 December.