Toys R Us Returns From the Dead on Saturday

Toys R Us, once thought to be dead forever, will reopen the first of two planned standalone brick and mortar stores this weekend.

On Saturday, the resurrected toy chain will open a permanent, 6,000 square foot store at the Garden State Plaza mall in Paramus, NJ. That comes 17 months and one day after the chain closed its last store in what seemed like a permanent move.

A second store is scheduled to open in December at The Galleria in Houston.

The new stores will be a lot more interactive than the Toys R Us locations of yore. Kids will be encouraged to test toys and there will be digital experiences available to customers, as well.

Tru Kids, which was created in January and now owns the Toys R Us brand, plans to open 10 new Toys R Us stores in 2020. The company has partnered with a startup called b8ta to launch stores based on a consignment model, in which toymakers will pay for space in the stores, but will get all the sales. The tech company will also offer brands access to data that will track traffic patterns and other metrics.

The new stores will have roughly 1,500 items for sale, with larger brands like Lego and Nerf having their own high-profile displays. Kids will be able to test Nerf guns at an in-store firing range and climb through an in-store treehouse.

Since its bankruptcy filing and the rise of Tru Kids, Toys R Us has opened a series of pop up shops in stores like Target and focused on online sales.

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