First came Toys R Us’ roller coaster revival, and now Babies R Us is experiencing its own rebirth, too.
Babies R Us, which went out of business in tandem with its parent company, Toys R Us, in 2018, is opening its new US flagship store on Wednesday at the American Dream Mall in New Jersey.
The brand’s comeback store is spread across 10,000 square feet and will carry an assortment of products and services catering to the needs of new and expecting parents, according to WHP Global, a brand acquisition and management firm that bought both retail chains from Tru Kids in 2021.
Tru Kids had bought Toys R Us (which also owned Babies R Us) in a 2018 liquidation sale and had attempted to resurrect the toy store chain, opening two locations in New Jersey and Texas in late 2019. But both of those locations permanently closed in 2021, with the company blaming pandemic-induced struggles.
Since acquiring both brands, WHP Global first fueled Toys R Us’ comeback. It opened a new 20,000 square foot Toys R Us flagship store, also at the American Dream Mall, in December 2021.
It has since accelerated the rollout of the toy store brand through a partnership with Macy’s (M), which brought a Toys R Us store within all 452 Macy’s (M) department stores in the US and on Macy’s (M) website.
The plan for Babies R Us is equally ambitious, Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of WHP Global, said in an interview with CNN.
He said Babies R Us’ comeback will “mimic” that of Toys R Us: “Expect the same ambitious rollout,” said Shmidman, adding that WHP is looking at taking Babies R Us nationwide with a similar partnership to Macy’s-Toys R Us.
Babies R Us’ reemergence comes as another once popular one-stop-shop of baby and toddler products – Buybuy Baby – is going away, supposedly forever. The retailer is closing all of its stores as part of its parent company Bed Bath & Beyond’s ongoing bankruptcy liquidation.
At the same time, Shmidman said the new Babies R Us’ stores are being developed to adapt to a changing retail landscape and consumer buying behavior.
He said the stores will be more experiential. “Today’s store formats are smaller and more engaging. For instance, we have created different terrains in the store, such as cement and grass, for people to test strollers,” he said.
Another feature is a model of a car in the store for shoppers to test out different car seats. “They can test if they like the fit, the buckle, or not,” he said.
“We like to think that the new stores will be a modern version of the Babies R Us stores of the past, but with the same DNA,” said Shmidman.
Source : CNN