Its owner, Tru Kids Brands, announced Thursday that Toys "R" Us is being reborn in the United States with two new stores. The return comes more than a year after the chain collapsed, resulting in the closure of all 700 of its American stores.
The new stores will be smaller than their predecessors. Tru Kids described them as a "highly engaging retail experience designed for kids, families and to better fit within today's retail environment." The new Toys "R" Us stores will be open before the holiday shopping season later this year at The Galleria in Houston and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. They will sell toys, but fewer of them. Unlike the rows of shelves that cluttered old Toys "R" Us stores, the new locations will have interactive and playground-like environments for toy brands.
They're being developed with b8ta, a company that designs interactive and technology-focused retail locations. The stores will let brands "design custom experiences and branded shops to help them create memorable experiences for parents and children," Tru Kids said. The company, which bought the brand last October, said it plans to open more Toys "R" Us stores in "prime, high-traffic retail markets" next year.
"We have significant interest about how to bring the brand back to the US," Richard Barry, the CEO of the new company, previously told CNN Business.
Toys "R" Us still has 900 stores open in Europe, Asia and India. It plans to open another 70 stores overseas — mostly in Asia — by the end of the year.