Toys R Us makes a small comeback with 2 stores

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The idea sounds like a mashup of the old Toys R Us experience and what Apple offers in its modern stores, with a focus on inundating kids and parents with ads and marketing for their tightly curated stock. Now Americans may not have to go another Christmas without its once beloved toy store.

At less than a third of the size of previously standard Toys "R" Us store, the new locations might feel unfamiliar.

The stores will be open before the holiday shopping season later this year. Instead of spacious locations filled with aisles stuffed with merchandise, the new stores will be smaller and will feature interactive displays and event spaces, according to the brand's new owners, Tru Kids Brands. They will sell toys, but fewer of them. The company hopes the new locations will be "must-visit" destinations for parents and their children.

Overall, Toys "R" Us aims to open 10 stores around the U.S.by 2020, with the goal of opening another flagship in NY or California.

"We have an incredible opportunity to entirely reimagine the Toys "R" Us brand in the USA and are thrilled to partner with b8ta and key toy vendors to create a new, highly-engaging retail experience designed for kids, families and to better fit within today's retail environment", Tru Kids Brands CEO Richard Barry said in the release.

The company says they plan to open additional stores within the USA over the course of 2020. Future store locations are planned to be about 10,000 square feet.

Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us continued to operate in more than 25 countries around the world and generated more than $3 billion in global retail sales in 2018, Tru Kids Brands said in February.

As NPR previously reported, the chain employed more than 30,000 people in the us before the bankruptcy.

By 2017, when the chain declared bankruptcy, it had almost $8 billion in debt versus just $6.6 billion in assets. The company owed more than $5 million. It will allow brands to pay to create mini-stores of their own within the Toys "R" Us space and then get all the sales when customers buy in-store or online. Toys "R" Us canceled plans for a bankruptcy option in the hopes of a reorg plan in the fall.

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