Tru Kids has closed the two Toys ‘R’ Us outlets it opened in 2019, according to Bloomberg. The company will still operate its ecommerce site, which directs shoppers to Amazon to make purchases, and license the Toys ‘R’ Us brand to stores in non-U.S. markets.
“As a result of COVID, we made the strategic decision to pivot our store strategy to new locations and platforms that have better traffic,” said a Tru Kids spokesperson in a statement. “Consumer demand in the toy category and for Toys ‘R’ Us remains strong, and we will continue to invest in the channels where the customer wants to experience our brand.”
The original Toys ‘R’ Us was liquidated in 2018, but Tru Kids acquired its intellectual property and resurrected the retailer in 2019. The new entity opened stores at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. and The Galleria in Houston in time for the 2019 holiday season, but plans for additional brick-and-mortar stores in 2020 were cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new shops, which were created in partnership with b8ta, were much smaller than traditional Toys ‘R’ Us stores and put a larger emphasis on experiential retail, including play areas — a smart plan during normal times, but unworkable during a pandemic. The environment also leveraged the b8ta Retail as a Service (RaaS) platform, which helps brands manage their in-store experiences and measure how offline experiences translate into online sales.