Toys R Us is back from the dead thanks to new tech partnership

Toys R Us is turning to technology to help launch a revival of the once great brand following its collapse last year.

Its former chief merchandising officer and 34-year veteran Richard Barry, whose company Tru Kids owns the rights to the brand, announced he has enlisted the help of tech-led retailer B8ta in an effort to relaunch the chain across the US.

The new stores, two of which are due to open later this year, will use B8ta’s “Retail as a Service” platform enabling brands who sell in store to actively manage their instore experiences and analyse how their in-store experience translate to online sales.

READ MORE: Toys R Us: What went wrong? (Part I)

This new model will see “the hottest toy products and brands” pay a subscription to Toys R Us to include their products and “immersive”, “highly interactive” experiences instore, but will take 100 per cent of the revenue.

“We launched b8ta to change the fundamental infrastructure of retail, from the business model to the customer experience,” B8ta’s chief executive Vibhu Norby said.

“B8ta is proud to bring Toys R Us stores back to the US alongside our partner, Tru Kids, and with our Retail as a Service platform as its engine, the new Toys R Us stores will be the most progressive and advanced stores in its category in the world, and we hope to surprise and delight kids for generations to come.”

These will be dramatically smaller than the former big-box, warehouse-style formats and be located only in prime, high footfall areas.

A further eight stores are planned for next year, while B8ta said it was open to exploring a similar relaunch of the brand in Britain and Europe.

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