It’s fair to say that most of us were heartbroken when Toys “R” Us closed its doors last year after 70 years of business. But dry your tears, because the beloved brand is making a comeback.
Parent company Tru Kids, which acquired the chain, is relaunching the Toys “R” Us website. But in an interesting business move, the site is currently redirecting customers to purchase toys from Target’s website while the company gets up and running again.
Visitors to the Toys “R” Us website can browse products in normal fashion, but when they click on individual product pages, instead of having an “add to cart” option, users see a button redirecting them to “buy now at target.com.” The new site also has a blog with the newest toys trends and product reviews.
Nikhil Nayar, senior vice president of merchandising at Target stated:
Target’s leadership in toys, digital and fulfillment are an unbeatable platform for Toys “R” Us to reconnect with their fans while we introduce them to the ease and convenience of shopping at Target. By applying our capabilities in a new way with Toys “R” Us, we can serve even more toy shoppers, drive new growth, and build on our toy leadership.
Other plans for the re-launch include a partnership with tech startup b8ta to create experiential retail stores. With the first locations in Houston, Texas and Paramus, New Jersey, the upgraded stores will feature interactive experiences such as a treehouse, STEAM workshops, and a theater for movies and videogames.
Tru Kids CEO Richard Barry explains:
Our U.S. strategy is to bring back the Toys “R”Us brand in a modern way through a strong experiential and content-rich omnichannel concept.
The foundation of that strategy requires the help of a retail industry leader and Target is the ideal retailer to support a new Toys “R” Us shopping experience, which is designed to provide families with endless ways to discover, play and enjoy toys. 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.
The brands most likely have some kind of revenue-sharing agreement in place. The question is whether customers will continue to buy toys from Target once Toys “R” Us reinstates itself completely. Or is the move a smart way to establish cash flow from the top-ranking, well-established domain name toysrus.com? Whatever the case, we’re looking forward to having our beloved toy store back again, and hope that the relaunch proves successful.