One week after reporting a $3.1 billion financing infusion from a group of lenders led by JPMorgan Chase, toy and game retailer Toys R Us is announcing new steps in its post-bankruptcy restructuring.
In recent retail news, Chain Store Age reported Monday (Oct. 2) that Toys R Us has partnered with global marketplace solutions provider Mirakl to create a new online marketplace. The new customer touchpoint will “get merchandise into shoppers’ hands faster,” according to the article.
“As the leading toy and baby retailer, customers expect us to have the latest and greatest assortment of products available,” said Lance Wills, chief technology officer at Toys R Us. “The marketplace model provides the opportunity to accomplish just that.”
The new online marketplace will launch in 2018, offering increased product selection and decreased time to market for new merchandise, Chain Store Age reported. It will expand selection, improve brand exposure and allow Toys R Us to use accumulated data from third-party sellers to help identify future retail offerings.
Though Toys R Us hopes to see a boost in sales and customer engagement with the new online offerings, the company also has its eye on improving in-store experiences as well. Along with a new motto — “Today We Play” — and “play labs” for toy testing coming soon to 42 of its locations, Toys R Us is reportedly hiring approximately 12,000 seasonal workers to staff its stores and fulfillment centers. It has opened a specialized concept shop for the holiday season in New York City’s Times Square.
“Our new brand philosophy — Today We Play — leaves behind the ‘transactional mentality’ of our business and rallies our customers and communities behind an issue that is vital for children’s development — free, unstructured play,” Toys R Us said in a statement on its corporate blog, according to Chain Store Age.