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Thread: Toys R Us to return... Again!

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    Master of Hosting Events! JohnnyC's Avatar
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    Toys R Us to return... Again!


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    Heroic Warrior Brasco's Avatar
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    This just made my day! I donít care if itís a pop up or a store in the mall, I hope one comes close enough to me. Yes toys are on fire but I hope they donít make the same mistake of having the highest prices in the market again
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    Master of Hosting Events! JohnnyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brasco View Post
    This just made my day! I donít care if itís a pop up or a store in the mall, I hope one comes close enough to me. Yes toys are on fire but I hope they donít make the same mistake of having the highest prices in the market again
    Yeah, same... I guess I just donít understand how there are over 900 of these stores still going in Europe and Canada, and in the USA they canít figure it out. Just makes no sense to me.

    -Johnny C

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    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    I think the U.S. just plain up and decided Target and Walmart are "good enough" for our universal shopping needs and if something is underrepresented by one or both, "Oh Well."

    The "need" for things to have their own dedicated store just for Those Things, is seemingly heavily outweighed by the "inconvenience" of ever having to shop at more than one store for any reason.

    I don't like that mentality, but that is increasingly what I am told. "We don't need Toys R Us, Walmart has toys." "We don't need Hobby Lobby or craft stores, Walmart already has paint and string and picture frames." And so on.

    You can tell them, "Yeah, in a very minimalist and crappy selection of All Of The Above", but they just tell you to get over it.

    The U.S. generally seems to be moving towards an apathetic embrace of monopolies becoming a standard in exchange for the sake of "convenience"... but nobody honestly seems to want to say it out loud, they just kinda seem to be quietly rooting for it without actually acknowledging that it is indeed what they want to see happen. There was some pushback to this a decade or so ago, but it all seems to have dissipated and people now seem pretty excited about the idea of Walmart, Amazon and Disney owning literally Everything, even if that would be bad.
    Last edited by Rikki Roxx; March 16, 2021 at 09:54am.
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    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    I think the U.S. just plain up and decided Target and Walmart are "good enough" for our universal shopping needs and if something is underrepresented by one or both, "Oh Well."

    The "need" for things to have their own dedicated store just for Those Things, is seemingly heavily outweighed by the "inconvenience" of ever having to shop at more than one store for any reason.
    I gotta disagree here. My wife loves places like Hobby Lobby, Micheals, and other specialty stores. My kids love stores dedicated to games, make-up, sports, and specialty clothing. Wal-mart is usually a dreaded trip and Target has become more of a household goods and non-specialty item place for us to shop. If it weren't for the limited re-lease stuff (toys) and Wal-mart.com, I'd probably never set foot in a wal-mart store.

    I think it comes down to a couple of things. Age and income being one of them. Another just being your interests and hobbies.

    But I'd also mention that I think Covid may have had (and will continue to have) a healthy effect on brick and mortar stores. You take for granted, at home convenience shopping until you're not allowed to go shop. Now people are finding it's nice to just go out and browse.


    I hope Toy's R Us comes back as a smaller store with more focus on specialty items, video games, and retro gear.
    "To a great mind, nothing is little."

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    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    Oh, I much prefer those other things and places as well. I'm just repeating things various people have said or implied to me, that's all.
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    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    Oh, I much prefer those other things and places as well. I'm just repeating things various people have said or implied to me, that's all.
    No, heck, before Covid I would have been much more the same thinking. I'm just seeing a huge difference now. Places are crowded
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    Heroic Warrior Durendal's Avatar
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    In a country as heavily populated as the US, you would have to think that there has to be a market big enough to sustain a retailer that specializes in toys. Walfart and Target just can't offer a similar experience. Thankfully here in Canada Toys R Us has continued to do well.

  9. #9
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Durendal View Post
    In a country as heavily populated as the US, you would have to think that there has to be a market big enough to sustain a retailer that specializes in toys. Walfart and Target just can't offer a similar experience. Thankfully here in Canada Toys R Us has continued to do well.
    I agree. I just think there's an age range that was once a heavy toy buying range that has shifted heavily towards video games. I think the danger is TRU not recognizing this and using it to their advantage. Let the game systems be the draw in and toys be secondary purchases once they get there. You can still cater to younger kids and (if they're smart) older adult collectors. And if it was me, I'd also carry video game, comic book, and other retro themed items and apparel.

    Be the one stop shop for fun stuff.
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    As far as Iím aware Toys r Us is completely gone in the uk, with no plans to make a return.
    We have a small family owned toy shop in my home town that has been here since 1955 and still does well. We prefer to go there before heading to the big stores to see if they have what we need.

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    Heroic Warrior Drakken's Avatar
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    It'll be interesting to see how this goes.
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    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyC View Post
    Yeah, same... I guess I just donít understand how there are over 900 of these stores still going in Europe and Canada, and in the USA they canít figure it out. Just makes no sense to me.

    -Johnny C
    In response to the who you quoted also.

    Part of the problem is/was Wal-mart and Target selling product under the suggested manufacturer retail price. They can do this for various reasons, one of which is having their own brands of product that pretty much just make them money. This was largely because of their lack of diversity of product. Yes, they could provide more specific items in that 'niche' but you still have to get people to the store. If they want to thrive they need to look at why grocery stores are still thriving in the age of Wal-mart/Target.

    Rest are more unrelated.

    Another problem was having too many TRU in individual cities.

    The online transition

    The perception of toys dying.

    Parents who control their kids spending deciding to get it at Wal-mart or Target instead.
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    Heroic Daddy to Hermione! Uki's Avatar
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    I hope this goes well. I met my wife working at TRU. Iíve so many great memories tied up with that place; itíd be great for even some small bit of that magic to return. My kiddo is super-excited about this news.
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    Good. Someone made a thread about this.

    I've been following this and I hope this time things work out. I was hoping and wishing the, now, minority owner got this ball rolling but I am assuming and guessing covid put a big kobosh their efforts.

    I'm glad Toys R Us keeps trying to come back.

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    Yeah, we really need them! The last time I went to one and bought anything it was the first time in a few years, and I'd made a promise to go there more often going forward, but they shut down a few months later and I never got the chance. I feel SO bad about that, still. They SEEMED to be doing well when I was there, they had a huge selection and a ton of stuff I hadn't even seen or heard about. I picked up some great stuff but I was like "Man, this is too much all at once, we gotta come back." But we never made it.
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    Heroic Warrior felgekarp's Avatar
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    How many people in the UK visited Toys R Us, there was a large one and at one time or another two smaller ones in Sheffield and a medium sized one in Doncaster, from an action figure collector point of view Iíd say they were crap, I just wonder how they were in different parts of the country?

  17. #17
    Human Mutant Power! carlo's Avatar
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    huh?

    what toys will be in the store at all?
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  18. #18
    Drinking NaughtyNurse IPA TheDeviot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    I think the U.S. just plain up and decided Target and Walmart are "good enough" for our universal shopping needs and if something is underrepresented by one or both, "Oh Well."

    The "need" for things to have their own dedicated store just for Those Things, is seemingly heavily outweighed by the "inconvenience" of ever having to shop at more than one store for any reason.

    I don't like that mentality, but that is increasingly what I am told. "We don't need Toys R Us, Walmart has toys." "We don't need Hobby Lobby or craft stores, Walmart already has paint and string and picture frames." And so on.

    You can tell them, "Yeah, in a very minimalist and crappy selection of All Of The Above", but they just tell you to get over it.

    The U.S. generally seems to be moving towards an apathetic embrace of monopolies becoming a standard in exchange for the sake of "convenience"... but nobody honestly seems to want to say it out loud, they just kinda seem to be quietly rooting for it without actually acknowledging that it is indeed what they want to see happen. There was some pushback to this a decade or so ago, but it all seems to have dissipated and people now seem pretty excited about the idea of Walmart, Amazon and Disney owning literally Everything, even if that would be bad.
    Well with Toys R US it was owned by a hedge fund that not only expected it to make money but enough to cover the spread of other businesses they owned.
    It was also horribly managed as an organization and did a lot of "Rob Hasbro to pay Jakks" stuff. Hedge fund companies on paper will buy a company that's flagging
    install policies to turn it around, and then resell it at a profit. This actually happened with Staples at one point which allowed Staples to be independent again. And of
    course, once they did, they made stupid decisions (ie: Let's buy failing office supply store chains in the UK and all of their debts!) and are now, once again under a hedge fund
    umbrella. In practice, it seems once your corporation is taken over by a hedge fund, they're just going to squeeze out as much as they can then throw away the husk. Which
    is, unfortunately, the case with many failed retailers including TRU.

    As far as wanting monopolies, I don't think Americans want monopolies per se; yes Amazon became a dominant force in part due to convenience. But an online business is more
    than just being cheap and easy. Although I will come back to cheap and easy in a bit.
    I have worked for a few companies now doing various sales/tech work. Most of them aren't around anymore and it isn't all because of price. It's due to the decisions
    executives made being short-sighted. Price may have been a factor in the decisions but not the only one.

    One of the big ones is the atmosphere these decisions create. Going into a store to buy a pair of shoes, or a computer, or an appliance or whatever should not feel like going to a car dealership.
    But it does. When you walk into a store to buy a computer things will start out fine. You'll get asked what you want to do with it, and that will
    help them better find a couple of models that you'd be happy with. But then you're going to be hit with a barrage of add ons. That's for two reasons. On the positive side, you may very
    well need some of that stuff. Going with a laptop? Yeah, you might want that case. You may actually want to get a download code for MS Office since the computer only has a pre-installed trial.
    But on the other side, it's because that computer has ZERO profit margin. Sure as a corporation, Best Buy got a little bit of a break for buying millions of them. But at full price, they get maybe
    $30. But if they put it on sale $300 off to keep you from going to another store or ordering it through NewEgg? That's a massive loss. So the company rides their employees hard. Implying that they're
    probably getting fired every time a customer doesn't buy an expensive warranty and other marked-up accessories on that transaction.


    That exacerbates the problem because now you can feel the pressure in the air. You can see the nervousness and uncertainty in an employee's body language.
    You might even hear the manager berating someone through a wall. On top of that, a bunch of long-time veterans who are good at their jobs, the sales rep
    you actually had rapport with last time are no longer there. Because corporate fired all of them to replace them with part-timers they could pay much less to.
    So now not only is there pressure, there's a lack of expertise.

    I used a computer sales floor as an example, but this stuff permeates through brick & mortar of all kinds. And it's caused many of them to lose
    sight of what made them successful to begin with. They've kneecapped themselves chasing the race to the bottom, and they're throwing stuff at the wall
    hoping something will stick.

    So no wonder people would rather go online. No high-pressure sales. No apathetic clerk who doesn't care, because nobody in the company charges about them.
    just click on something, enter the card, and be done with it.

    But people DO want to be able to go to a store and get whatever it is. People don't want to have to mail back a coat that doesn't fit, or deal with sending back crushed action figures.
    It's just unfortunate that few running these chains are willing to tell investment firms they're going to have to deal with flat or middling sales. If some of them
    could successfully bring back the concept of perceived value, that would work wonders. As much as I don't like Apple's products much, this is something they've done to a fault.
    Their products are way overpriced, and their competition does the same thing better. But a lot of people "Don't mind" paying double because they like a specific feature or interface
    that Apple has.

    In other cases, a store needs to simply get back to being transactional while being profitable. Customer sees jeans. Customer pays for jeans. Customer leaves with said jeans. Store makes 40% on jeans.
    Instead, like our computer buying experience, it's "Oh you need our phone app to get the sale price.", "Would you like our card that gets you coupons". Which is also astounding when, unlike consumer electronics, apparel has loads of built-in profit margin. But this is the stuff driving people out of retail IMO more so than the lower prices of Amazon.

    I do find it interesting how many small mom & pop companies in my area are coming up out of this though. Maybe we're just going to end up like the days of The Waltons where we have
    the Sears catalog (internet stores) and indie shops serve the immediacy in our towns. Which wouldn't be completely terrible, except what do we do when a third of the population can no
    longer find work? I've been fascinated and saddened by the death of malls. There are a couple in my state that are less than half vacant. There are whole channels on YouTube devoted
    to exploring them. Some are surviving by changing into mixed use property blurring office/retail/residential, but there are others just left dilapidated 40 year old corpses.
    but now I've begun to ramble.
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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    Your typical customer just wants the stores staff there to help them if and when they need help.

    This is two sided, many walmarts are notorious of being hard to find an employee when a customer is in need of help. Perfect example of that help was last month when Texas got frozen over, we had several customers come into the store and wonder why we were missing various products or short on the, all I said was our warehouse and suppliers for the warehouse are all in Texas or there abouts. Ninety-nine point nine percent of customers said they would either figure something else out (if I could I would assist in that process).

    Walmart sold the world on the concept of convenience even on things that really didn't need to be convenient. The funny thing is when they started selling the things like the warranties etc to get some more cash since most customers would never need to use the warranty before the due date, and because of convenience of just buying a cheap replacement people opted out of the warranties.
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  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior Asher Tye's Avatar
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    Convenience stores are good if youre just looking for basics, but a specialty store is needed when you have to be precise. Don't care if WalMart and Target have tool sections, they cannot compare to what Home Depot has. Same goes for Toys.
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    My personal opinion on stores like that has shifted a lot in recent years. Nowadays, I will only drive to a store if it offers something an online retailer cannot. With stocked items, this will be difficult - but shopping atmosphere and really good staff can make all the difference in the world. We have a really small fantasy board game store one town over, and while they are more expensive than e.g. Amazon, it's just fun to go here.

    So I am curious to see how ToysRUs intends to go about this. I just don't see mid-sized or even big toy stores working out these days. There is just too much product around, too many pre-order items, etc.

  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asher Tye View Post
    Convenience stores are good if youre just looking for basics, but a specialty store is needed when you have to be precise. Don't care if WalMart and Target have tool sections, they cannot compare to what Home Depot has. Same goes for Toys.
    The problem with toys is it's the same quality for the same product. Aside from exclusives, and a larger area to display Toys R Us won't be providing something significantly different than convenience stores.
    One Gum Drop to rule them all, One Gum Drop to find them,
    One Gum Drop to bring them all and in the sweetness bind them
    In the Land of Candy where the Gingerbreads lie.
    -Tag line for the Candy Land Movie Adaptation

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    Rob Liefeld isn't a comic artist, he's a women's clothing designer. Think about it

  23. #23
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyldman11 View Post
    The problem with toys is it's the same quality for the same product. Aside from exclusives, and a larger area to display Toys R Us won't be providing something significantly different than convenience stores.
    I still feel like they can offer a different shopping experience. I think Toy's R Us potentially can set up their business to where you enjoy just going in the store.

    Take Gamestop. I'm not a huge fan of their business practice but I actually enjoy going in to a game stop and looking around.

    Walmart
    ? I hate going there. I'm probably missing out on the Origins line just because I never feel like stopping and just going in to look at the toys. It's always crowded and always a disappointing experience.

    Walmart and Target both very often have bare or minimal items on the shelf in the toy departments. You'd have a hard time finding a worse stocked department in either store than the toy isle.
    "To a great mind, nothing is little."

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior Granamyr's Helmet's Avatar
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    I'm fortunate my kids got to experience Toys R Us while they were little before it went out of business. We had a nice one not too far from where we lived, and it was definitely their favorite place to go. Walmart and Target? Forget about it.

    They'd go into Toys R Us and it was a WORLD made just for them...they might hit up the trains table display you could play with, or head to the bikes aisle and grab different ones and try them out right there. Plushes aisle, action figures, board games, when they got a little older the whole video game section. Lego everything! I have wonderful memories of just watching their reaction to things and what grabbed their eye.

    And of course I enjoyed scanning the action figures along the way at times

    I don't know if that can ever be a viable business model again, but it was perfect just the way it used to be because it was truly an experience and not just a place to acquire goods. It does my heart good though to hear there are plans to bring it back in some form, I hope it works out.
    Last edited by Granamyr's Helmet; March 22, 2021 at 01:14pm.

  25. #25
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    Dougie downer aleart!!!!!!!

    I've been thinking...........

    I would think the new majority owners would have to move fast if they DO want some kind of pop up store up and running for Christmas time. I would think that no sooner than the news broke they would have to begin to make plans for these pop up stores.

    If stores return full time is that really, truly, put an end to all the complaints we have with our current options?

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