For one of the worlds largest toy retailers, Toys ‘R’ Us, this holiday season could be make or break for the US retailer as it recently filed for Chapter 11 protection due to its $5 billion USD in long-term debt. The retail giant has been struggling to keep up with the growth in online sales – dominated by companies like Amazon – so its looking at a new way of attracting customers to its stores, augmented reality (AR).
Called Play Chaser the AR experience will launch this week in 23 US Toys ‘R’ Us stores before going nationwide on 21st October. Using a tablet or smartphone the Toys ‘R’ Us mascot, Geoffrey, will greet shoppers informing them of what to do. They’ll be able to follow flashing icons on the floor that’ll direct them to a particular shelf with a sign on it. This sign is then scanned, unlocking an AR toy or activity.
Created in partnership with PlayFusion, the free app – available through Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon Appstore – tasks shoppers with completing activities which then gain them stars. The bigger the number of stars collected means more content will be unlocked.
“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,” CEO Dave Brandon told USA TODAY. “We believe that’s going to drive a lot more traffic into our stores which will ultimately put us in a position where we can be more successful at growing our sales and our company.’’
To celebrate the launch, Toys ‘R’ Us will be running Play Chaser Sweepstakes. Download the app between Friday, 20th October and Saturday, 28th October to be eligible. 2,000 $25 Toys“R”Us gift card are up for grabs, with one winning a grand prize trip for four to the Nickelodeon Resort in Punta Cana.
The 23 stores Play Chaser will be debuting at:
- Toys“R”Us Allen – 170 E. Stacy Road, Allen, TX
- Toys“R”Us Yonkers – 1000 Central Park Ave, Yonkers, NY
- Toys“R”Us Amherst – 3030 Sheridan Drive, Amherst, NY
- Toys“R”Us Cary – 201 Crossroad Boulevard, Cary, NC
- Toys“R”Us Greece – 1530-1550 Ridge Road West, Rochester, NY
- Toys“R”Us Henrietta – 654 Hylan Avenue, Henrietta, NY
- Toys“R”Us Lincoln – 5220 N. 27th Street, Lincoln, NE
- Toys“R”Us Rockford – 6449 E. State, Rockford, IL
- Toys“R”Us E. San Jose – 2179 Monterey Road, San Jose, CA
- Toys“R”Us Elk Grove – 8507 Bond Road, Elk Grove, CA
- Toys“R”Us Times Square – 1466 Broadway, New York, NY
- Toys“R”Us Secaucus – 3 Mill Creek Drive, Secaucus, NJ
- Toys“R”Us Elizabeth-KidsWorld – 900 Ikea Drive, Elizabeth, NJ
- Toys“R”Us Paramus II – 634 Rt. 17 North (at Ridgewood Ave), Paramus, NJ
- Toys“R”Us Totowa – 445 US-46, Totowa, NJ
- Toys“R”Us Wayne – 7 Wayne Hills Mall, Wayne, NJ
- Toys“R”Us Citrus Park – 12845 Citrus Plaza Drive, Tampa, FL
- Toys“R”Us Brandon – 330 Brandon Town Center Drive, Brandon, FL
- Toys“R”Us Lakeland – 3770 US-98 North, Lakeland, FL
- Toys“R”Us Raleigh – 7810 Poyner Pond Circle, North Raleigh, NC
- Toys“R”Us Durham – 3330 Westgate Drive, Durham, NC
- Toys“R”Us Long Island City – 3540 48th Street, Long Island City, NY
- Toys“R”Us Flatbush – 2875 Flatbush Avenue, Flatbush, NY
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