Toys R Us is turning its stores into a digital playground

Marcus Newton
October 5, 2017

Augmented reality, which overlays computer-generated images on real world environments, sparked a worldwide craze with Pokemon Go previous year, USA Today noted.

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

The AR experience is now live in 23 stores in the USA and will expand nationwide on October 21. The question remains, though, why haven't other reeling bricks-and-mortar retailers like Sears used it to save themselves from online competition?

The app, called Play Chaser, works by scanning signs scattered across each Toys R Us shop, which unlocks content like mini-games and other play experiences.

Toys R Us free augmented Android and iOS reality app, called Play Chaser, is supposed to turn the store into a virtual playground, tech website Engadget said. 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.

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The store's mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, will greet players and show them how to get started.

When Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection last month, retail juggernauts like Walmart and Amazon were cited as the reasons behind the company's woes.

While Toys "R" Us revolutionized toy sales in the 1950s and 60s, to the point of driving small neighborhood shops out of business, now it is on the receiving end of being trumped by new approaches, with the advent of online shopping.

"Alarm bells will have been ringing for some time but it took until May this year for an online store revamp to take effect and it is hard to see how Toys "R" Us could address the structural challenges it faced without reducing its store footprint and significantly changing its proposition", explained Copestake.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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