Toys R Us made headlines last year with their devastating bankruptcy announcement that left tens of thousands unemployed. The brand may be gone in the retail sphere, but they’re making a comeback in the digital world that might just keep the whole business alive. The internationally recognizable toy brand has re opened their online website just in time for the holiday season. The website, however, is now more of an online window shopping experience without any direct means of purchasing, basically a huge online catalog. Instead, when you go to purchase a toy listed, you’ll be redirected to the product listing on Target’s website. Target now powers the Toys R Us brand and runs the entire website. In fact when you go to Target’s website from the listings, a huge banner appears that says “Toys R Us, now powered by Target.”
The actual Toys R Us website is totally different from its previous retail format, and now radiates the essence of an online toy magazine. Meaning the website is fully equipped with the hottest toy trends, articles about up and coming products, in depth consumer reviews, and of course, links to every product listing so readers can make purchases as they’re reading about the holidays hottest game trends.
“Our U.S. strategy is to bring back the Toys R Us brand in a modern way through a strong experiential and content-rich omni-channel concept. Target will help us deliver on that experience with its toy assortment, digital strength and ability to deliver orders to shoppers in a matter of hours,” said Toys R Us merchandising executive Richard Berry in the official release announcement.
In addition, Toys R Us will be opening two experimental retail locations in Houston, Texas and Paramus, New Jersey. This is in an attempt to revive the ghost brand and give families the chance to relive the experience of going to a toy store. Since Target is now calling the shots, any products that aren’t available at the two retail locations can be ordered online and fulfilled through Target. In addition, any and all the perks that Target shoppers normally receive with their exclusive RedCard or Target Circle memberships are applicable to Toys R Us purchases as well!
This move is all in a greater effort to keep the household known toy brand alive. Berry started working at Toys R Us in 1985 as a cart pusher and cashier, so when he climbed the corporate ladder all the way to the top only to have a company he’s loved for decades crumble, he knew he couldn’t give up just yet. Berry is the CEO of Tru Kids Brands, the company that owns Toys and Babies R Us, and he knew he needed help if he were to keep the brand alive. He recruited Yehuda Shmidman, the former CEO of Sequential Brands Group, which oversaw the lifestyle brands Martha Stewart Living and Jessica Simpson Collection, according to CBS News.
Since recruiting Shmidman in February, Berry was able to fulfill his goal through the Target merger and the opening of the two retail locations. The plan is to have the experimental locations a fourth the size of previous Toys R Us locations, and make the stores more consumer orientated. The aisles aren’t going to consist of floor to ceiling shelves stocked with toys of all kinds, but instead a more child friendly space that will consist of play areas to test out certain toys before purchase!
Target’s acquiring of Toys R Us revenue is the biggest and best step that Berry could’ve done. In a world where Amazon is becoming the center of shopping everywhere and slashing its competitors in the process, business wise, partnering with one of the largest and still successful retail giants in the country should keep Geoffry the Giraffe alive for generations to come.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.