Beyond the initial 23-store test, the app will be available in all Toys R Us stores nationwide starting October 21.
The Augmented Realty will be initially available at Allen, Texas; Yonkers, Amherst, Henrietta, Rochester, New York; Cary, North Carolina; Lincolin, NE; Rockford, IL, San jose, CA, Elk Grove, CA, Secaucus, Elizabeth, Paramus, Totowa, Wayne, NJ; Tampa, Brandon, Lakeland, FL; Durham, North Raleigh, NC; Long Island City, Flatbush, NY stores. A Toys R Us spokeswoman told Retail Dive via e-mail that the retailer made a decision to work with PlayFusion because it wanted an app that would work across both iOS and Android devices.
The toy retailer has been dealing with slowing sales lately and it's not been good for the business. The room will act as a place for kids to play with toys and gadgets - with the help of a demonstrator - before purchase, much like the area in Toys R Us' popup Times Square holiday store.
"The marketplace model provides the opportunity to accomplish just that". The company hopes that this experience will draw in customers to give them something they can't find while shopping online.
With the app, shoppers can animate Toys R Us' Geoffrey the Giraffe mascot, navigate the store, shoot virtual baskets, take care of a virtual baby, or scan a code to watch a toy animate on their phone screen.
The app works by getting users to point their smartphone's camera at star icons in the store letting them play virtual games such as basketball or win digital prizes such as virtual dolls. The iconic brand operates in more than 1600 locations. "It offers no compelling reason to visit over buying online".
"The Times Square holiday shop reunites our brand with an iconic NY destination, which we are thrilled about", Dave Brandon, TRU chairman and chief executive officer said.
In other news, Eastern District of Virginia judge Keith Phillips, who is overseeing the TRU bankruptcy case, received an additional submission from a 9-year-old boy identified as Andrew.
The toy retailer is debuting an augmented reality experience, just two weeks after filling for bankruptcy protection.