Tags: augmented reality | toys r us | pokemon | hail mary

'Augmented Reality' in Toys R Us Stores a Pokemon Hail Mary?

Image: 'Augmented Reality' in Toys R Us Stores a Pokemon Hail Mary?

(Christian De Grandmaison/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 October 2017 09:14 AM

An “augmented reality” experience was introduced by Toys R Us in hopes of bringing customers into stores for the critical holiday shopping period after filing for bankruptcy in September.

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

Toys R Us started something similar in 23 of its stores on Monday, with the idea of making them destinations for their customers, and plans to roll out its augmented reality experience nationwide on Oct. 21.

The marketers have convinced CEO Brandon that augmented reality will put Toys R Us back in the game. The question remains, though, why haven't other reeling bricks-and-mortar retailers like Sears used it to save themselves from online competition?  

"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,'' Brandon, the company's chairman and chief executive, 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."

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. 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.

Users can earn in-app currency, called stars, by completing quests and games, along with competing with other players locally, or nationally in some games, The Verge said.

The store's mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, will greet players and show them how to get started. Most of the stores now using the app now are in California, New York and North Carolina, Engadget said.

Toys R Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sept. 18, facing debt of $4.9 billion, $400 million of which was interest payments due in 2018 and another $1.7 billion in 2019, CNBC reported.

"Today marks the dawn of a new era at Toys R Us where we expect that the financial constraints that have held us back will be addressed in a lasting and effective way," Brandon said in a release announcing the filing.

"We are confident that these are the right steps to ensure that the iconic Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands live on for many generations," Brandon added, per CNBC.

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An “augmented reality” experience was introduced by Toys R Us in hopes of bringing customers into stores for the critical holiday shopping period after filing for bankruptcy in September.
augmented reality, toys r us, pokemon, hail mary
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2017-14-03
Tuesday, 03 October 2017 09:14 AM
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