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Gizmodo: Toys 'R' Us Is Open for Business Again, But There's a Bizarre Catch

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Toys 'R' Us Is Open for Business Again, But There's a Bizarre Catch [Updated]

 

Toys “R” Us has re-opened its doors, launching the first of two new stores planned for the holiday season after closing 800 of them last year. You might think, great, it’s time to become a Toys “R” Us kid again, but I’d keep thinking like a grownup for a bit longer. Something’s different about these new stores.

 

The first new Toys “R” Us store opened on November 30 at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, New Jersey. The 6,000-square foot space is designed for experience play, with rooms dedicated to popular toys and brands, like Lego, Nerf, Paw Patrol, and LOL Surprise. Kids can test out toys before buying them—if they’re not available in the store’s limited stock, there are several interactive screens scattered throughout the store to make online purchases on the Toys “R” Us website.

 

But here’s where things get strange: Toys “R” Us doesn’t seem to actually own what it’s selling. Instead, the former toy giant has become a marketplace leasing out space to different brands where they can promote and sell their own goods. That’s not all: The Toys “R” Us website is powered through Target. Every single toy and product we clicked on at the website featured a link to buy the toy through Target. As far as we can tell, Toys “R” Us isn’t technically selling anything on its own.

 

There’s also the little detail in an NBC report that b8ta, the company who partnered with Tru Kids to create the new Toys “R” Us store, has installed dozens of sensors in the ceiling of the store to “monitor traffic patterns and shopper cadence” to see where kids and parents are going and what brands they’re more attracted to. That’s right: Toys “R” Us is monitoring where kids go to produce data for brands.

 

Click on the link for the full article

 

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I worked for Toys R Us during my senior year of high school and one summer during college.  That doesn't make me any more qualified to speak about the economics of the situation but I do want to see the store return.  Frankly it seems their lack of innovation is what drove them to bankruptcy.  They could not adapt knowing that people prefer Amazon and other online retailers.  They should have trended towards experiences in store and increased the benefits of coming into the store v. shopping online in general.  The Fair Lakes store had a restaurant and carousel at one point.  They are following a similar model to Best Buy in allowing other brands to "lease" space within the store and then train Best Buy employees to sell the product.  This benefits both Toys R Us and the manufacturers.  

 

Also, everything we do is being tracked these days.  Most people leave their gps turned on with their smartphones.  That data is being mined and sold to analytics companies who then use it for whatever purpose they need (I keep my gps off until I am using maps).  Finally, the information gained from monitoring will hopefully help to determine better plans for success.  If this helps get the franchise back up, I would be happy simply to see that.  

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Maybe I'm missing something..I see nothing wrong with what they are doing...I think everything linked to Target being a bit strange, but if Target owns them, then that's not strange at all...

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i skimmed it, admittedly, but none of that seems that odd to me. The whole sensor for traffic thing has been done in other places for years. If yall ever been to the Mosaic District in Fairfax, that so something similar to that and have for years. Its not as effective because they wouldn't pay for it. But I remember helping them put in "Free wifi" so that they could track where customers were going, what time of day, how many daily visits, how many repeat visitors and where they went to most frequently. All that stuff. Not for any bad reasons either. They just wanted to know what made people come to the property and how to get them to come back. So they could ultimately make more money. Data is everything these days. 

 

That **** worked to a degree too. They could have done it better though. 

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5 hours ago, Mr. S said:

I worked for Toys R Us during my senior year of high school and one summer during college.  That doesn't make me any more qualified to speak about the economics of the situation but I do want to see the store return.  Frankly it seems their lack of innovation is what drove them to bankruptcy.  They could not adapt knowing that people prefer Amazon and other online retailers.  They should have trended towards experiences in store and increased the benefits of coming into the store v. shopping online in general.  The Fair Lakes store had a restaurant and carousel at one point.  They are following a similar model to Best Buy in allowing other brands to "lease" space within the store and then train Best Buy employees to sell the product.  This benefits both Toys R Us and the manufacturers.  

 

 

The ownership killed them more than anything else.  They were playing around with them and got them in so much debt they couldn't innovate. 

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