It looks like Toys R Us has got some growing up of its own to do. The former kid paradise filed for bankruptcy Monday and now wants to update its sales strategies.
The company has $5 billion in debt. That's partly because physical retail items like Barbie dolls and Nerf guns are facing competition from electronic media, and partly because of the convenience of online shopping.
CEO David Brandon said the store will focus on enhancing customers' in-store experience. He wants to create "interactive spaces" where kids can play with toys before buying them and watch demonstrations. He said stores may even start hosting birthday parties.
This isn't Toys R Us' first go round with the idea. It's provided testing areas for some toys before, but this would take the idea a step further.
And it would be in good company. Working the customer experience angle is a move other retailers have adopted.
For example, Apple stores only carry a small amount of merchandise, but their customer service reps are known for being friendly, well-informed and hands-on.
Brandon also said the company is working on a way to get into the field of augmented reality video games.
It may be a profitable move. According to a 2015 report, kids ages 8-18 spend an average of six to nine hours a day using electronic media. And if reported upward trends continued, those numbers are likely higher now.
Of course, there are kids under 8, who, according to some parents, still love physical toys. The company just needs to get parents to come in and buy them.
Toys R Us stores will remain open throughout the bankruptcy process and the upcoming holiday season.