The big-box toy retailer Toys R Us finally filed for bankruptcy after struggling for years to pay down billions of dollars in debt. The company has faced hard times competing with Amazon, and big-box chains like Target and Walmart, which often offer the same toys for less money. The toy company, operating around 1600 stores in 38 different countries, announced that they are not closing any stores and are planning normal practice of hiring additional workers for the holiday season. “As the holiday season ramps up, our physical and web stores are open for business, and our team members around the world look forward to continuing to put huge smiles on children’s faces,” said CEO Dave Brandon in a statement.
Even if Toys R Us gets through the holidays, they still need both a financial and an operational revamp of the company in order to stay alive.
The retail landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, and it seems like Toys R Us is falling behind to keep up with it. Having enormous stores with few employees whose effort to help is rather little will not get you far in today’s retail industry.
Meanwhile, many children and teenagers have lost their interest in traditional toys and use more and more smartphones and tablets for playing. Danish toymaker Lego is also feeling the pain due to the takeover of online apps and games as it is witnessing its first sales drop in 13 years.
A great way for brick-and-mortar retail to win battle against e-commerce is to start investing in new strategies. Imagine Toys R Us as a shoppable showroom where kids can try out trendy toys with trained customer representatives who can guide children while they play and offer advice or answer questions – sounds good, right? Keep in mind that value never disappears completely, you just have to find a new way to unveil it.