The Toys R Corpse is once more coming to light
Toys R Us had shuttered its doors in the middle of 2018, and sold its brand and other assets to finally pay off long-standing debts for a few years. However, thanks to initiatives to restore the toy store, the Geoffrey Giraffe could not lay in peace. The newest was a new relationship with Macy’s online and brick and mortar shops.
In 2018, an organisation called Tru Kids brand purchased the Toys R Us name rights and, one year later, in July 2019, it disclosed its partnership with experiential retailer b8ta to set up a series of smaller mall-based retail outlets which focused on a restricted range of curated toys and brand experiences. If you don’t remember the victorious return of Toys R Us, this isn’t surprising as the announcement stated that for the 2019 vacation period only two stores are opened: one in Houston, Texas and the other in Paramus, New Jersey.
It was found, as if this was not depressing enough, that the Paramus shop in the Westfield Garden State Plaza had a number of sensors above the ceiling that b8ta used to track client movements and flows in the space to collect data on the most popular items and displays. It was shopping with the focus group and sadly, b8ta refused to answer when Gizmodo asked the retailer “to clarify how much time the data being collected and if shopkeepers are aware that the equipment is being used in the stores.
13 months after the opening of Tru Kids New Jersey and Texas Toy Shops, in January 2021 both sites came to an end, victims of Covid-19 pandemic issues, and greater competition for purchasing online. Two months later, TRU Kids was declared to become the “leading acquisition and management company of WHP Global” and Geoffrey the Giraffe will be back.
Macy’s did not partner with an eminent toy retail brand to draw a broader audience from its shoppings for the first time. In 2018 the FAO Schwarz signed an exclusive partnership which was the oldest toy shop in the United States with the New York Fifth Avenue famed on the 1988 Big movie Big starring Tom Hanks piano dance sequence. In 2003 the FAO Schwarz was registered for insolvency, acquired in 2009 by Toys R Us, and is now controlled by the ThreeSixty Group. In 2018 the agreement saw that, because the dealership now effectively tries the same thing with the Toys R Us name, Macy opened up up to 275 FAO Schwarz shop-in-stores across the country which were not as successful as the retailer planned.