business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that Toys R Us will open “two mall stores this holiday season and bringing back its website. But don’t expect the Toys R Us you’re used to.

“For one, the new locations — at the Galleria in Houston and Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. —will be much smaller than their predecessors. And instead of aisles overflowing with packaged toys, the focus will be on open play areas, interactive displays and spaces for special events and birthday parties.”

According to the story, “The revamped Toys R Us is a joint venture between Tru Kids Brands — which acquired the Toys R Us brand in January — and b8ta, a chain of ‘experiential’ consumer electronics stores. The new effort is being led by Barry and Phillip Raub, the founder of b8ta.”

The move comes a year after Toys R Us, having gone into bankruptcy, closed all its US stores.
KC's View:
I’ve been skeptical - and that may be too kind a word - about a Toys R Us revival, but the idea that its new owners are working with the b8ta chain actually gives me a glimmer of hope.

I wrote about b8ta a couple of years ago when we visited iut during the first Retail Tomorrow conference in Silicon Valley, and was very impressed … you can read the story here. If these folks are working together, maybe Toys R Us actually has a shot.