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Toys ‘R’ Us to update U.S. store base; creating store of the future


New York -- Toys “R” Us has launched a new strategy to drive future growth that includes a big emphasis on improving its in-store customer experience.

The nation’s largest toy retailer said it will update its existing stores to make them easier to shop, focusing on everything from the restrooms and lighting to the flooring and signage. It also is committed to reducing in-store clutter and improving in-stocks and checkout speed (slow checkouts registered as a big customer complaint in its research.).

“Customers feel our stores need a better execution,” said Antonio Urcelay, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us, during a presentation Tuesday at the chain’s Times Square flagship.

The retailer also said it is developing a store of the future, with an unveiling likely in late 2014. And it will no longer focus on putting its Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores side by side.

“We completed the planned rollout of the side-by-side stores,” said Hank Mullany, president, Toys “R” Us U.S. He added that the chain learned that Babies “R” Us customers do not like the side-by-side environment as much as they do the standalone concept.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Toys “R” Us has no plans to close a large number of stores.

“Reports of us closing a large number of our stores in the United States are not accurate,” said Urcelay, who added that the majority of the chain’s U.S. store fleet is “very profitable.”

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