Toys “R” Us is back online, thanks to a new deal with Target. Tru Kids, the parent company that acquired the defunct toy chain following its bankruptcy, has announced the relaunch of the ToysRUs.com website as it begins the process of opening its retail stores across the U.S. As a part of its comeback strategy, the Toys “R” Us website’s product pages will redirect to Target.com when consumers click the “buy” button to make an online purchase.
The retailers didn’t discuss the terms of the deal, but a revenue-sharing agreement is clearly involved in a scenario like this, given the mutual benefits. Toys “R” Us would be able to quickly establish cash flow from the still top-ranked, well-established domain name toysrus.com, while Target could get an influx of new sales from shoppers who visited ToysRUs.com, unaware of the toy chain’s bankruptcy and relaunch.
In addition to redirecting online shoppers to Target, the new website also features articles and videos about the latest toy trends and hot brands, plus in-depth product reviews, hot toy lists and other brand experiences. These will be available on the Toys “R” Us website itself. Only when a customer is ready to make a purchase will they be sent over to Target for checkout.
The site’s “Buy” button is also clearly labeled so there’s no confusion at checkout. In Target’s red-and-white brand colors, it reads “buy now at [target].com” where the word “Target” is replaced with the Target logo icon.
Target shoppers sent to Toys “R” Us get the same benefits they would if shopping directly — meaning, they can place orders for delivery, curbside or store order pickup, and can earn loyalty points with Target Circle, or get 5% by paying with a Target REDcard.
The new partnership between the retailers isn’t only focused on redirecting consumers’ traditional e-commerce product sales, however.
Target says it will also fulfill online sales when Toys “R” Us opens its first experiential retail stores later this fall in Houston, Texas and Paramus, N.J.
Tru Kids had previously announced a deal with tech startup b8ta to create a modernized toy store experience featuring things like STEAM workshops, a treehouse for kids to play in, theaters for movies and games, and a way for brands to showcase their products in a more interactive environment.
At these stores, guests who want to purchase items that aren’t available in the store itself will be able to place their order with a store associate that gets fulfilled through Target.com.
“Target’s leadership in toys, digital and fulfillment are an unbeatable platform for ToysRUs to reconnect with their fans while we introduce them to the ease and convenience of shopping at Target,” said Nikhil Nayar, senior vice president of merchandising at Target, in a statement. “By applying our capabilities in a new way with ToysRUs, we can serve even more toy shoppers, drive new growth, and build on our toy leadership,” Nayar added.
The new deal with Toys “R” Us isn’t the only significant toy-related partnership Target has made in recent weeks. At the end of August, the retailer announced an agreement with Disney that sees it opening mini Disney stores within its retail stores, where shoppers can buy toys, apparel, collectibles, home items and more. Twenty-five Disney “shop-in-shops” are open now and dozens more are planned for 2020.
“Our U.S. strategy is to bring back the ToysRUs brand in a modern way through a strong experiential and content-rich omnichannel concept,” Tru Kids CEO Richard Barry, a former Toys “R” Us exec, said in a statement about the Target partnership.
“The foundation of that strategy requires the help of a retail industry leader and Target is the ideal retailer to support a new ToysRUs shopping experience, which is designed to provide families with endless ways to discover, play and enjoy toys. Target will help us deliver on that experience with its toy assortment, digital strength and ability to deliver orders to shoppers in a matter of hours,” he said.