Toys "R" Us Launches App That Turns Its Stores Into AR Playgrounds

Toys R Us

CEO Dave Brandon wants to make Toys R Us stores a destination. Getty Yana Paskova

This new marketing stratagem will make use of the nascent technology of #augmented reality (AR), to turn all of their branches into a virtual experience seen through the "eyes" of one's smartphone or tablet.

Toys R Us plans on developing AR experiences that will be interactive within stores through a corresponding app.

"It's going to transform the experience of coming into a Toys R Us bricks and mortar store and turn it into something that's quite different and a lot more fun", Toys R Us CEO CEO Dave Brandon told USA Today about the AR effort.

On 18 September 2017, Toys R Us US and Canadian subsidiaries, crippled by US $5 billion in debt and more powerful online competition, voluntarily filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code relating to protection from its creditors, before the key holiday trading season.

"There's even a virtual Geoffrey the Giraffe to welcome customers to the store, explain the app and send kids on their quest for in-store play". The app will also challenge users to collect stars to unlock more experiences.

The iOS and Android app has launched in 23 participating United States stores, and will continue to roll out nationwide this month.

Last Wednesday Toys R Us confirmed it closed on United States $3.1 billion of financing facilities that will support the company's operations during its recently announced bankruptcy filing regarding its financial restructuring process. Toys will also come to life.

Those challenges predate the 2005 leveraged buyout, and the huge debt load has weakened Toys R Us' ability to adapt to a changing retail climate.

"We are confident that these are the right steps to ensure that the iconic Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands live on for many generations", Brandon added, per CNBC.

On 20 September 2017, Toys R Us received interim approval by the US Bankruptcy Court to access up to U.S. $2.2 billion of the DIP financing.

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