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Toys 'R' Us stores are back. Here's how they're different

The store’s new owner, Tru Kids Brands, announced Thursday that the famous toy store would return to the United States.

In this July 30, 1996, file photo, a woman pushes a shopping cart over a graphic of Toys R Us mascot Geoffrey the giraffe at the Toys R Us store in Raritan, N.J. After Toys R Us closed all of its stores earlier this year, the company’s new owner, Tru Kids
In this July 30, 1996, file photo, a woman pushes a shopping cart over a graphic of Toys R Us mascot Geoffrey the giraffe at the Toys R Us store in Raritan, N.J. After Toys R Us closed all of its stores earlier this year, the company’s new owner, Tru Kids Brands, announced Thursday that the famous childhood store would return to the United States.
Daniel Hulshizer, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Yes, call it a comeback: Toys “R” Us is officially coming back to the United States.

The store’s new owner, Tru Kids Brands, announced Thursday that the famous childhood store would return to the United States with two new locations after Toys “R” Us closed all of its American stores over a year ago, CNN reports.

  • The new stores will be smaller. They will sell toys but less of them.
  • According to Tru Kids, it will be a “highly engaging retail experience designed for kids, families and to better fit within today’s retail environment.”
  • The new Toys “R” Us stores will open at The Galleria in Houston and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey.
  • The new stores will open during the holiday season.

“Despite unprecedented efforts to capture the U.S. market share this past holiday season, there is still a significant gap and huge consumer demand for the trusted experience that Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us delivers,” said Richard Barry, president and CEO of Tru Kids Brands, in a statement. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write the next chapter of Toys 'R' Us by launching a newly imagined omni channel retail experience for our beloved brands here in the U.S. In addition, our strong global footprint is led by experienced and passionate operating teams that are 100% focused on growth.”

What’s different: The new stores will allow brands to display their products in a new playgroundlike environment where customers can directly interact with the toys, Engadget reports.

The company b8ta will own 50% of the venture. B8ta previously worked with Macy’s to help the struggling company, according to Engadget.