Toys“R”Us has been in the toy business for more than 65 years, and at one point operated around 800 stores in the United States and 800 outside the US. When it expanded as a chain, becoming predominant in its niche field of toy retail, it also branched out into baby supplies and children’s clothing. With the recent rise of mass merchants, as well as online retailers, Toys“R”Us began to lose its share of the toy market and was forced to file for bankruptcy. Toys“R”Us then came to us to help revitalize their brands.
Our challenge was to find a way to reach the new generation of parents and compete against both ends of the market: massive online retailers (e.g. Target and Amazon) that emphasize price and convenience, through to boutiques that offer the personalization experience and trustworthiness many new parents seek.
To do this. we designed two distinct visual systems that give each brand its independence across the digital ecosystem while integrating seamlessly. The visual systems retain the logo while using color, typography, photography, icons and illustrations to tell stories about all of the ways the brand can unleash the power of play. We further developed proprietary icons to represent key services, categories and functions for a visual shorthand that clarifies, identifies, guides and teaches with a signature sense of fun.
The new system was interpreted across the entire customer journey, from in-store graphics to website applications with a focus on digital communications to packaging and gift wrapping. As of July 2019, Toys“R”Us plans to reopen two U.S. stores. Armed with our new brand platforms, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us have the toolkits they need to revitalize their brands.