Toys ‘R’ Us Rises From The Dead
In 2017, Toys 'R' Us surrendered to competitors as the troubled company filed for bankruptcy. Almost a year after Toys 'R' Us liquidation, the company decided not to sell its intellectual property, and instead began to concoct ways to resurrect the brand.
The Toys ‘R’ Us brand is near and dear to the hearts of many consumers, and in today’s world of digital-everything, a brand that consumers can connect with is extremely valuable and almost impossible to replicate.
Many of today’s parents grew up with Toys ‘R’ Us and their iconic Geoffrey the Giraffe which was seen on the side of all of the physical stores and on the trucks delivering toys on the highway. The company was founded in 1948 right after the country was getting out of the mindset of war and people were looking for something happy and naive.
Today, the brand announced a partnership with b8ta, a retail-as-a-service startup that equips brick-and-mortar retailers with logistics services and experiential store design. "I think there is an interesting mash-up between experiential retail that b8ta has been perfecting in its store with those hands-on experiences," Tru Kids Brands CEO Richard Berry said. "Having the ability for brands to showcase things and give them online experiences too." B8ta's futuristic stores transform people's shopping experience from an exclusively transactional location to a place where customers can play with and test out products.
B8ta and Tru Kids Brands, the company that owns Toys 'R' Us, plans to re-imagine the iconic toy store by constructing two new stores; these stores will include theaters for movies and video games, a treehouse, and other workshops where kids can play. Toys 'R' Us new shops will be slightly less than a third of the size of the company's original 30,000-square foot stores. B8ta's small-scale design will increase Toys' R' Us efficiency by forcing them to offer a concentrated product line, hire fewer employees, and pay less overhead.
B8ta will lower Toys' R' Us cost further by incorporating its software for checkout, inventory, point of sale, inventory management, and staff scheduling services. "For most brands, we're working with, the costs are quite reasonable," the CEO of b8ta said. "I'll say that it's at least 50 percent cheaper than doing it yourself." B8ta's data analytics software enables Toys 'R' Us to enhance the customer's in-store experience.
Although Toys 'R' Us closed nearly 800 stores in the U.S less than two years ago, the company's partnership with b8ta will potentially rejuvenate the old fashioned emporium into a modernized boutique toy store. B8ta's database and low-cost logistics software will prepare Toys' R' Us to combat mega-retailers, including Walmart and Target. Tomorrow, Toys ‘R’ Us will open their first new US retail store in North Jersey at the Westfield Garden State Plaza.