You may have just heard in the news… the toy retailer, known as Toys R Us has just filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in the USA and Canada.
The giant… has over $5bn in long term debts.
That is not good.
So they’re going to re-structure their debts and work out how they can move forward with their business.
And that’s my question… how can you move forward?
When I first found this out… I immediately thought of Kodak.
We all know the fate and how it turned out for Kodak (for those who are unaware, they do still operate as I still receive information about my pension… which I won’t be receiving for a long time yet…!)
Let’s be honest – most purchases are made through a handful of on-line retailers. Yes – for particular items you’ll go to specific stores, you may have discount codes, loyalty scheme, etc.. And you’re probably right in guessing who the big players are.. or who the biggest player is… yep… Amazon.
It started with books…. then Electronic items… and now, you can buy virtually everything on-line through Amazon.
But is it all their fault? … I don’t think so. Have they had a part to play… yes, but then there’s other factors to take into account.
Competitors, marketing strategy, etc… there’ll be a number of factors. But let’s be honest. The biggest factor has to be the move from physical store to on-line stores.
We’re all busy. we’re all doing something or other.. and when we realize there’s a birthday, function, Christmas, etc.. we need a toy… we’re more likely to grab our phone and have a look on-line rather than drive down to the local store to have a browse.
Will toy stores completely disappear from the high street? I think yes… eventually, and not too far in the future, items you don’t need to ‘try on for size’, feel, hold, taste, etc… will be purchased more on-line rather then people buying them in store.
To be fair, even the items we need to ‘try on for size’, feel, hold, etc… we are buying more and more on-line…. as the returns process is simple and moreso, we have the information we need to make a more educated assumption that the item we are purchasing is fit for purpose.
So, back to Toys R Us… it’s unfortunate… I hope they are able to re-structure their debts and keep going. Maybe they need to have a re-design… rather then selling toys, open Toy Centres… where you charge $x to bring your children in, play with the toys, then leave… (without the toys) and if they do want to play with the toys at home, then you hand an iPad device to the parents to make the purchase on-line and it’s delivered home by the time they get there…
Glad this is well in advance of Christmas… then again, i’m sure Amazon or other on-line retailers would have them in stock ready for next day delivery… thanks to me being a Prime customer.