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Toys ‘R’ Us fights back with Augmented Reality Shopping

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Last month we brought you the news that Toys ‘R’ Us, one of the worlds biggest toy store chains had filed for bankruptcy protection in the USA. Well, today it seems the fight to survive is well and truly shaping up. In an effort to change shoppers behaviours and entice people away from online shopping and back into stores the toy retailer has announced it is implementing augmented reality into its stores in the USA.

Following its rebrand operation, toy chain Toys R Us has rolled out a new augmented reality app across 23 retail locations in the US.

Developed in partnership with PlayFusion, the free app transforms toy shopping into a magical and interactive experience by activating different AR mini-games for customers on their smart device while in-store. To unlock the games, customers download the app and start scanning the many different Play Chaser signage points throughout the store.

There will be more than 10 experiences offered – everything from a virtual basketball game and fishing pond to a baby adoption experience that allows kids to care for their virtual tot in a similar fashion to Tamagotchi.

Play Chaser will roll out to all Toys R Us stores nationwide on Saturday, October 21.

Will augmented reality entice customers back to “brick and mortar” toy shops or has the culture of internet shopping changed customer behaviour forever? Augmented reality does work well with promotional events such as this year’s Star Wars promotion – Force Friday. But that is one day a year, maybe the thrill of augmented reality is its exclusivity? Having it available all year round can quickly lose its appeal.

Factor in that if the augmented reality games are too basic and better games can be downloaded from the android or ios stores then really what is the draw for customers?

As always we are keen to know what you think. Will augmented reality entice you to visit a toy store or is it a gimmick that you just aren’t interested in? When shopping, would you want your children preoccupied with a smart device or would you rather they be browsing and selecting toys? As always let us know your thoughts in the comment section below

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