Toys “R” Us Sees Interactive Stores as a Path to Brick and Mortar Success
Toy retailers are redesigning their brick and mortar stores to enhance their shopper’s experiences through interactivity. Toys “R” Us has recently opened four interactive toy stores, which will include a play lab (to test out new products) for customers to test out new products.
Moving the online experience, in-store
Most brick and mortar retailers have registered losses each quarter due to online shopping competition. These losses have brought many retailers back to the drawing board regarding how to re-invent themselves and the experiences they provide to their customers in-store. Toys “R” Us has taken this step. Earlier in November, they re-launched interactive toy store in Santa Ana, California, with three more opening in Florida by the end of 2016. The new stores will also include interactive in-store displays with the plan to market and host more gaming and birthday events. The long-term plan includes going global with stores opening in China.
Technology Paves the Way
Within these interactive store, Toys “R” Us plans to highlight their brand partnerships in as many ways as possible, whether through e-commerce channels, events, or in-store. One such partnership, with Mattel-owned American Girl, will see store-within-a-store concepts pop up throughout the new year. Each of the aisles in the interactive stores will be branded by merchandise, including Lego, and Star Wars toys. In June of this year, Toys “R” Us added the position of Chief Technology Officer (reporting to the CEO) to help the company develop its digital strategy and enhance customer experiences through all available shopping channels.
Customers looking for online ease with the tactile touch of the products can find that in stores like the one Toys “R” Us has launched. American Girl has had continued success with this model as kids can create their products in-store. Other brands experiencing this type of success include Lego, which has areas for the children to play, experiment, and try their toys before parents buy. This model of interactive games is successful as customers are able to experience the product while the retailers get to learn which of their products are more appealing to their audience, what’s selling, and the approaches that work best. Brick and mortar stores are still a viable part of a retailer’s business – learning how to draw customers in and keep them interested in their shopping experience is where the interactive model shines, especially for shoppers with children.
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