Toys R Us to open first 2 stores by holiday season, including 1 in N.J.

The first two new Toys R Us stores will be opening in time for the holiday season, according to Tru Kids Brand, the Parsippany-based parent company of the Toys R Us brand.

Plans include opening the iconic toy chain at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus and The Galleria in Houston, Texas, a Simon Mall.

Tru Kids said it entered into a joint venture with b8ta, a software-powered experiential retailer, to launch a new store experience that will deliver the top toy products and brands showcased in a highly-immersive but smaller space.

“With a 70 year heritage, the Toys R Us brand is beloved by kids and families around the world, and continues to play a leading role in the hearts and minds of today’s consumers,” Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids and interim co-CEO of the new Toys R Us joint venture, said. “We have an incredible opportunity to entirely reimagine the Toys”R”Us brand in the U.S. and are thrilled to partner with b8ta and key toy vendors to create a new, highly-engaging retail experience designed for kids, families and to better fit within today’s retail environment.”

The Toys R Us stores will be highly interactive with daily events and activities, Tru Kids said.

“As a kid, my memory of Toys R Us was running up and down the aisles kicking balls and playing with the coolest toys,” Phillip Raub, co-founder and president of b8ta and interim co-CEO of the Toys R Us joint venture, said. “As the retail landscape changes, so do consumer shopping habits. But what hasn’t changed is that kids want to touch everything and simply play. In partnership with Richard and his team, we are excited to bring back Toys R Us in an immersive way, focused on creating a fun and engaging experience for kids—and adults, too.”

Using b8ta’s experiential retail model, brands will be able to showcase products in an interactive environment, creating a new retail experience centered around product discovery and engagement, Tru Kids said. Brands will also be able to custom design experiences.

“We launched b8ta to change the fundamental infrastructure of retail, from the business model to the customer experience. b8ta is proud to bring Toys R Us stores back to the U.S. alongside our partner, Tru Kids, and with our Retail as a Service platform as its engine,” Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta, said. “The new Toys R Us stores will be the most progressive and advanced stores in its category in the world, and we hope to surprise and delight kids for generations to come.”

The two companies said they plan to open more locations in high-traffic retail markets throughout the U.S. over the next year and into 2020.