WAYNE, N.J., Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Toys"R"Us® today lifted the curtain on its plans for the 2014 holiday season at a special preview event for business retail reporters in New York City. Hank Mullany, President, Toys"R"Us, U.S., discussed steps the company has taken during the first half of the year to prepare its stores nationwide for the busy shopping season ahead, including building its leadership team, successfully concluding its inventory clearance event to make way for hot new holiday products, significantly improving its in-stock position, strengthening customer relationships with enhanced service offerings and redeploying capital for store maintenance.
Mr. Mullany also announced the launch of the company's new Rewards"R"Us loyalty program, the introduction of free online layaway and ways it is making it easy and fast for shoppers to find the toys they want through its new "Here's What's Hot" and "Gift Express" shops, in-aisle "Top Gift" suggestions, as well as its curated online Gift Finder. In addition, Mr. Mullany discussed the company's innovative brand marketing campaign and the important role its expert employees play in providing a differentiated shopping experience for customers. He also noted that the company will continue to offer Price Match Guarantee for store and online competitors, a $49 everyday free shipping offer and enhanced omnichannel capabilities including In-Store Pick Up.
"We are pleased with our progress and the foundational improvements we've made to the business in preparing for the busy months ahead," said Mr. Mullany. "Our focus at Toys"R"Us for the 2014 holiday season is to make it easy for customers to shop with us both in-store and online. At the same time, we will clearly demonstrate our toy category leadership through our broad product assortment, by having hot toys in-stock when customers want them, and leveraging the expertise of our employees in helping gift-givers select the right toy for the child on their list."
Launching New Rewards"R"Us Program: Loyal Customers Earn Rewards Faster, Maximizing Their Shopping Experience
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the company has launched a new Rewards"R"Us program to further deepen its relationship with its most devoted customers. The more than 18 million existing Rewards"R"Us members, and those who sign up in-store or online at Toysrus.com/myrewards, are now able to earn more rewards. The complimentary loyalty program enables members to simply earn one point per dollar spent* at Toys"R"Us or Babies"R"Us locations. For every $125 spent, Rewards"R"Us members receive $5 in "R"Us Rewards.
To maximize their membership, loyalty members now have the ability to accumulate points up to $200 in rewards, allowing them to save up and apply their rewards toward special purchases. In addition, members can register to receive rewards directly via email and enjoy an extended 60-day validity period when redeeming rewards. Plus, members have access to the dedicated Rewards"R"Us website where they can track their purchases, print rewards and receive exclusive access to special savings and partner offers from family-friendly brands that include global resorts, iconic attractions, entertainment and more.
To extend savings even further, Rewards"R"Us members who are also "R"Us credit cardholders, issued by Synchrony Bank, earn two points per dollar spent in-store or online at Toys"R"Us or Babies"R"Us, a total of $10 for every $125 they spend. They can also enjoy special financing and partake in 10% off** Thursdays at any "R"Us location. Plus, "R"Us MasterCard® cardholders also earn one point for every four dollars spent on purchases at stores other than Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us.
Rewards"R"Us members will also receive exclusive promotions throughout the holiday season and advance notice of sales, events and presale opportunities. To learn more, visit Toysrus.com/myrewards.
Introducing New Online Layaway for Holiday Season
Toys"R"Us has expanded its omnichannel capabilities with the introduction of online layaway, giving customers the ability to create layaway orders at Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, make subsequent payments either in-store or online and choose to pick up their order in a local store or have it delivered right to their home. This offering is in addition to the company's in-store layaway program. Toys"R"Us will once again offer FREE layaway for the holiday season, waiving the $5 service fee generally associated, now for both online and in-store layaway orders.
As the company strives to make it easy for customers to find and buy what they're looking for, online layaway not only provides access to a wider assortment of products, but is also an exceptional shopping convenience for those who want to make a series of payments over time, but may not be able to get to a local store to create a layaway order and make regular payments. More details are available at Toysrus.com/Layaway.
It's All About Gifting Made Easy
This fall, the company is introducing brand new navigational signage in its Toys"R"Us stores nationwide. This thoughtful and layered approach to making it easy and fast for gift-givers to find what they're looking for includes a welcome map located at the front of the store featuring merchandise category locations, plus large overhead signage identifying major product categories and brands. Additional way-finding signage at aisle entry points and within each aisle breaks down merchandise selection even further, leading shoppers right to the item they came to find.
In addition, the company announced the launch of two new gift solutions shops located at the front of each store, providing shoppers with easy access to top gifts and helping to eliminate guesswork:
- The "Here's What's Hot" shop showcases hot, new product arrivals and top trending toys for children of all ages. Featured products will change on a monthly basis, providing parents with instant knowledge of what kids are currently clamoring for.
- For grab-and-go shoppers, a curated assortment of top items available for $30 or less is presented in the "Gift Express" shop, which is designed to help even the most indecisive gift-giver choose something great for the holidays, a birthday or other special occasions.
To further assist holiday shoppers select a gift sure to please, the company's team of merchandising experts have chosen 16 "Top Gift" suggestions to showcase through in-aisle presentations. Identified by bright green signage, these items help focus shoppers on some of the hottest items within a large product category.
For online shoppers, a new curated Gift Finder will be available at Toysrus.com with fun gift ideas that will deliver big smiles. This specially selected guide, featuring top gifts for every toy category, allows shoppers to easily search items by age and price range, and then further narrow the results by brand and character.
Breadth of Assortment, Including Hundreds of Exclusive Products
This holiday season, Toys"R"Us stores nationwide will be THE destination for top licensed products based on kids' favorite TV shows, movies and more, including Disney's Frozen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and PAW Patrol, among others. Consumers will be able to easily identify merchandise from these hit properties, as the company plans to showcase its product dominance with prominent feature shops, exclusive merchandise and engaging marketing activations throughout the fall.
Meanwhile, gaming enthusiasts will have much to look forward to in the coming season as they shop the company's Electronics & Entertainment offerings, which will include the latest installments of games in the "Toys to Life" genre, such as Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) and Skylanders Trap Team™. Additionally, the highly anticipated launch of Destiny earlier this month from Activision Blizzard and Bungie Studios, the makers of the "Halo" franchise, has brought newness to the software category and is expected to develop a strong fan base as a brand-new gaming franchise.
The company will continue to offer exclusive products through partnerships with branded vendors, including new and upcoming introductions such as the inventive LEGO® FUSION segment, the highly collectible Charmazing™ assortment, Little Live Pets™ Bird Cage Love Birds and Barbie® Malibu House™. Plus, Toys"R"Us continues to invest in its own private brand lines, including Journey Girls®, You & Me, The Home Depot®, Animal Planet® and EduScience, to further drive its category leadership and value proposition.
New Brand Marketing Campaign Shows the Magic of Toys in Fueling Little Imaginations
During the event, Mr. Mullany also discussed 'C'mon, Let's Play,' the new Toys"R"Us brand campaign, designed in partnership with award-winning advertising agency The Escape Pod and 'Action Movie Kid' YouTube channel creator Daniel Hashimoto. The national advertisements, which debuted in August, showcase the company's unique ability to facilitate fun and bring magical play moments to life through its distinctive shopping experience in Toys"R"Us stores and online at Toysrus.com.
The current flight of TV spots capture children playing with toys inside a Toys"R"Us store and illustrate how their imaginative dreams become a fun reality. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ gear, for example, magically transforms kids into their favorite superheroes. Creating dolphin illustrations with fun, vibrant hues of Crayola® products turn the toy aisles into a whimsical underwater wonderland. And, the skating Elsa doll brings kids' favorite scenes from Disney's Frozen to life. These commercials are designed to showcase the remarkable potential a toy has to spark creativity when placed in a child's hands and put Toys"R"Us employees at the center of creating fun play experiences. The campaign will evolve throughout the holiday season.
For more information on the "C'mon Let's Play" campaign, please visit Toysrusinc.com.
Expert Employees Provide Differentiated Shopping Experience to Customers
Toys"R"Us is in the business of bringing joy to its customers 365 days a year, something its toy-trained experts take very seriously. Passionate for toys both on the job and in their personal lives, the company employs all sorts of plaything professionals, from LEGO fanatics and action figure collectors to gaming gurus, science enthusiasts, bike assembly wizards and more. The company's U.S. network of nearly 40,000 non-seasonal employees are also moms, dads, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles, just like the customers who shop with Toys"R"Us.
These employees provide a differentiated shopping experience for customers seeking expert and knowledgeable toy shopping advice. Nearly 14% of associates in Toys"R"Us stores nationwide have been employed by the company for 10 years or more – higher than the U.S. average of 9.7%***. In addition, more than 11,000 employees, or nearly 30% of the "R"Us population, have worked with the company for five years or more.
Fair Pricing and Service Offerings
In addition to new program introductions, the company will continue to offer the following during the 2014 holiday season:
- Price Match Guarantee lets customers shop with confidence and know they're getting the best value. Toys"R"Us will match a competitor's advertised price on identical items when customers present a local competitor's print ad or their website showing the item available for less. For more information, please visit Toysrus.com/PriceMatch.
- On Toysrus.com, the company offers an everyday free shipping offer on purchases of $49 or more.
- Once again, Toys"R"Us will offer an extended return period after the holidays. Through January 22, returns accompanied by a sales or gift receipt or online packing slip will be accepted, regardless of whether or not the item was purchased within the company's general 90-day window for returns. Those who want to start their holiday shopping early can do so worry-free knowing that Toys"R"Us will offer an extended return policy after Christmas.
- The company's omnichannel offerings have been enhanced, including its In-Store Pick Up option, which allows customers to shop online from wherever they are and pick up their ordered item at their local Toys"R"Us store in an hour or less.
As it enters the busy shopping season ahead, the company continues to implement its "TRU Transformation" strategy designed to position the business for sustainable long-term growth.
*Some exclusions apply. Visit Toysrus.com/myrewards for complete details.
**Offer valid in-store only. Some exclusions apply. Subject to credit approval. Special financing purchases do not earn reward points.
***Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
About Toys"R"Us, Inc.
Toys"R"Us, Inc. is the world's leading dedicated toy and baby products retailer, offering a differentiated shopping experience through its family of brands. Merchandise is sold in 877 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and in more than 710 international stores and over 195 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With its strong portfolio of e-commerce sites including Toysrus.com, Babiesrus.com, eToys.com and FAO.com, it provides shoppers with a broad online selection of distinctive toy and baby products. Headquartered in Wayne, NJ, Toys"R"Us, Inc. employs approximately 70,000 associates annually worldwide. The company is committed to serving its communities as a caring and reputable neighbor through programs dedicated to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need. Additional information about Toys"R"Us, Inc. can be found on Toysrusinc.com. Follow Toys"R"Us, Babies"R"Us and FAO Schwarz on Facebook at Facebook.com/Toysrus, Facebook.com/Babiesrus and Facebook.com/FAO and on Twitter at Twitter.com/Toysrus and Twitter.com/Babiesrus.
SOURCE Toys"R"Us, Inc.