Toys"R"Us Relaunch

Using technology to deliver the ultimate customer experience

Backstory

Everyone knows the story of Toys R Us (TRU) and the brands indelible influence on generations of consumers. Founded in 1948, the chain grew to over 1,450 stores all over the world and created hundreds of millions of “Toys R Us kids”. They dominated the toy market with unheard of purchasing power and big box stores that seemed to carry every toy you could ever want.

Like many big box retailers however, the popularity of e-commerce and rising levels of competition took its toll and in 2017 the chain was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy status. Eventually all stores were closed, and the brand seemed to be fading into the sunset permanently.

Little did the world know, the visionaries of this iconic brand were planning a comeback of epic proportions. They would transform their store environments into true experiences that today’s consumers (including children) want and expect. A cornerstone of this strategy was to deliver an interactive, experiential environment that was largely driven by technology.

Strategy

MINT was engaged by TRU to deliver a wide range of digital, interactive experiences that would appeal to today’s omni channel customers, including children. The store needed to create a destination that parents and children enjoyed spending time in and create the desire for repeat visits.

The solution started with an oversized digital video wall inside the store’s Event Theater within the space. The event theater is a space where children could attend special events, play with gaming consoles, watch iconic movies, and attend other feature events. An interactive event calendar was positioned at the entrance to the theater to allow customers to view upcoming events their children might be interested in and link that calendar to TRU’s web-site.

Around the perimeter of the store were experience rooms called “anchor shops”. These shops feature one particular brand and their products presented in a very interactive manner. MINT installed interactive touch screens where parents & kids could shop for the brands products, create shopping carts & make purchases at the store or later at home, share their experience on social media, & more.

Strategic feature product displays on the retail floor were designated for certain brands, and again MINT provided an interactive touch screen that educated shoppers on the products available, as well as provided a virtual shopping cart experience, social media sharing, and more. These displays created engagement with children and parents alike, driving higher purchase patterns for the brands products on displays.

Throughout the rest of the store were large digital screens for certain brands, dedicated digital interfaces for certain displays, and strategic digital “shopping displays” that were all supported by MINT’s content management software (CMS). MINT’s CMS allows TRU and their brands to remotely control all content on all displays.

Finally, MINT configured and installed a full store retail analytics camera system, complete environmental audio system, in-store networks, and supporting network equipment.

Retail Execution

The first two stores were located in the high-profile malls of Garden State Plaza and Houston  Galleria. From start to finish, these stores needed to be completed in under 45 days which was a tall task. MINT deployed teams around the clock to get the locations prepared, installed and operating before the required deadlines. The execution went flawlessly, and the MINT technology has proven to be a major part of the store success.

Consumers are flocking to Toys R Us and are raving about the experience. The environment is one where an amazing store staff, strong merchandising & branding, interactive displays, and technology deliver the perfect retail environment!

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