Toys R Us is Back, But They Are Using Creepy Surveillance Equipment in Stores to Monitor Shopping Habits

Toys "R" Us is back as the first new store has opened at the Garden State Plaza Mall in New Jersey, something fans didn't think would ever happen at one point. The new Toys "R" Us comes with some changes of course, as the new store prioritizes being able to experience the toys as opposed to just looking at them on shelves, and has rooms dedicated to brands. If you can't buy the toys from the store directly, you can head to an in-store kiosk to order them from Toys "R" Us website, which all sounds in keeping with the brand's promises when they relaunched. That said, they didn't really say anything about the myriad of sensors the store has that will monitor shoppers' traffic patterns and shopper cadence, and some aren't that thrilled about that aspect of the new stores.

The sensors come from b8ta, and are there to monitor the traffic patterns of shoppers and shopper cadence to see which brands and areas of the store kids and shoppers, in general, go to more frequently in an attempt to better cater to what their shoppers want. There was initially some confusion about what "shopper cadence" meant, as some took it to be monitoring conversations, but b8ta CEO Vibhu Norby issued a statement to io9 to clarify what that actually means.

“Shopper cadence doesn’t mean cadence as in voice. It means as in rhythm/frequency, as the word is used in a business context. We in no way monitor, track, or record what people say in the stores," Norby said.

Even with the clarification, some on social media aren't thrilled about all the monitoring in the stores, and you can see some of our favorite responses below.

"Toys “R” Us is back. And if you visit the new NJ location, they'll monitor you and your family's traffic through the store via "dozens of sensors in the ceiling." You can buy toys and have your privacy invaded. What a deal. "

"Translation: “Toys R Us is not fucking around this time.”

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"Toys R Us re-opens! But... "Toys “R” Us is monitoring where kids go and what they say to produce data for brands." Why isn't this illegal under COPPA laws?"

So what do you think about all this? Let us know in the comments!

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