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Toys “R” Us Has Relaunched — With Some Help From Target

You can’t keep a good giraffe down.

On Tuesday, the Toys “R” Us website was back online as part of the store’s relaunch. In an attempt to differentiate itself from other retailers, the site is looking to be “heavily content-oriented,” Richard Barry, the CEO of Toys “R” Us’s parent company, told CNBC. That means that, on top of reviews, the site will cover trends and even provide activity suggestions for kids. The Toys “R” Us website also sets itself apart in an unusual way: You can’t buy anything there. Instead, shoppers will be routed to Target.

If you’re visiting one of the two Toys “R” Us pop-ups this holiday season, you will also have the option to purchase any out-of-stock items online with the help of a store associate, according to a press release from Target. As with the online experience, Target will fulfill the order once it is placed in a Toys “R” Us store. The announcement comes as Target also looks to continue to increase its growing toy sales around the holiday season.

Target is just one in many partnerships Toys “R” Us has made during its much-heralded relaunch. The pop-ups are in partnership with b8ta, a retail company that focuses on interactive presentations as well as selling products. Additionally, Toys “R” Us will have two pop-ups with Candytopia, an interactive, Instagram-friendly experience with several locations in the U.S.

In other words, it seems to be the Toys “R” Us brand, not actual services or products, that offers real power in 2019. In the case of Target, especially, this looks like a chance to use the former toy giant to try to gain ground on Amazon. And hey, given that Amazon is often cited as the reason for Toys “R” Us’s downfall, maybe there’s some poetic justice under the Christmas tree if this gambit works out.

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