Toys "R" Us launches AR app

Toys

Toys "R" Us launches AR app

Toys "R" Us is adding a new feature in hopes of drawing customers who would usually shop online into its stores.

Now that Toys "R" Us, the one-time leading toy and juvenile product retailer in the world, has finished filing its#Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, it must now focus on thinking up a marketing coup that would attract usual online shoppers to drop by their real-world branches.

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. "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".

The AR experience that Toys R Us is offering to customers will have them interacting with mascot Geoffrey as he directs them around the store. Users will be able to point the app at star icons in the store, allowing them do things like play basketball or take home a digital doll, the website stated.

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Last Wednesday Toys R Us confirmed it closed on United States $3.1 billion of financing facilities that will support the company's operations during its recently announced bankruptcy filing regarding its financial restructuring process.

The iOS and Android app has launched in 23 participating United States stores, and will continue to roll out nationwide this month. Toys will also come to life.

While a large reason behind the specialty toy chain's decision to file for bankruptcy in September was the $5 billion in debt it owes as a result of a leveraged buyout in 2005, the chain's problems run deeper than that. There are 15 Toys " R " USA and Babies " R " Us stores located in the Houston area.

Those challenges predate the 2005 leveraged buyout, and the huge debt load has weakened Toys R Us' ability to adapt to a changing retail climate.

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