Toys R Us: Champions of Play

With 931 store locations in the U.S., Toys R Us  is well-known to kids and adults across the country. It’s been part of the American tradition since 1957–that’s 60 years of fun and games.

Toys R Us 931 US Locations (May 8, 2017)

Toys R Us Store Map

Toys R Us Store Map

And, then, on September 18, 2017, Toys R Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While bankruptcy is bad news, Chapter 11 means that the retailer will keep operating all of its stores while it reinvents its brand.

Today we Playthe Toys R Us tagline, is a call-to-action for kids and adults, alike, to get up and do something. The company looked at data that showed today’s kids have 25 percent less free time than in 1981 and they spend 50 less time in unstructured outdoor play than in the 1970’s.

Champions of Play is the new Toys R Us goal, how they will lead the industry. To kick off this positioning, the brand has a new 30-second television ad that features the joy of playtime. The plan also includes experiential elements, partnerships, technology initiatives and digital ads.

In-store Play Labs are being set up in 42 of its stores as part of the experiential aspect of the re-branding. Children will be free to play in these open areas with the season’s hottest toys to see if they really love them.  To support the play labs, each of the 42 stores will have a team member who will demonstrate the the toys for kids and families.

Giant Etch-a-Sketch. If you’re in New York City on October 6, check out the giant Etch-a-Sketch screen that people can interact with at the Fulton Street Subway Station. It’s all about reminding people to play.

There are many more surprises planned as the Champions of Play re-brand, reinvent and restructure. Keep your eyes on the prize!

Gloria Sauve
Marketing and Communication

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