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Toys R Us Looking At Virtual Reality To Bounce Back From Bankruptcy
January 19 2018, 01:41 | Alonzo Simpson
CEO Dave Brandon wants to make Toys R Us stores a destination. Getty Yana Paskova
In the midst of its bankruptcy, Toys R Us is beefing up its online presence and revamping stores with a focus on interactive areas and augmented reality, Toys R Us CEO Dave Brandon told USA Today.
But the limited features feel a bit gimmicky unless Toys R Us can keep updating or releasing fresh app content. Play Chaser is free and being tested in 23 stores across the U.S. starting today, with plans to roll out to all stores by October 21st. When they do, games that appear include basketball shootouts, a baby nursery and similar experiences that will look as if they magically appear inside the store. Toys R Us is hoping to ride that wave.
Like so many retailers that are finding it challenging to co-exist with Amazon, analysts warned that the toy chain's financial predicament was not helped by its slow uptake of going digital, as well expanding on its in-store experience.
He added: "We believe that's going to drive a lot more traffic into our stores which will ultimately put us in a position where we can be more successful at growing our sales and our company".
"There's even a virtual Geoffrey the Giraffe to welcome customers to the store, explain the app and send kids on their quest for in-store play".
The retailer plans on developing AR experiences that will be interactive in stores through an app.
The Augmented Realty will be initially available at Allen, Texas; Yonkers, Amherst, Henrietta, Rochester, New York; Cary, North Carolina; Lincolin, NE; Rockford, IL, San jose, CA, Elk Grove, CA, Secaucus, Elizabeth, Paramus, Totowa, Wayne, NJ; Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, FL; Durham, North Raleigh, NC; Long Island City, Flatbush, NY stores.
Last Wednesday Toys R Us confirmed it closed on U.S. $3.1 billion of financing facilities that will support the company's operations during its recently announced bankruptcy filing regarding its financial restructuring process.