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Saving The Big Box: Inside The Plan To Revive Toys 'R' Us

Dave Brandon has been inside a Toys "R" Us in Secaucus, New Jersey, for all of five minutes before he spots a problem. At the entrance, there's a display of small cardboard bins filled with $1 playthings that look messy, and even worse -- cheap.

"It kind of reminds me of a garage sale," says Brandon, who became chief executive officer of the world's biggest toy chain 14 months ago. "We're not the dollar shop. We're a toy store."

In the Star Wars section nearby, a Chewbacca chair has tumbled over into the aisle. The 64-year-old CEO grabs it and turns it right-side up. Dressed in black pants and a blue long-sleeve shirt -- a deliberate attempt to...