Why did Toys “R” Us fail to stay relevant in the fast-changing retail world? Let’s review the top 3 opportunities that could have saved the retailer but were not implemented, causing it become a real-life retail zombie – still open but not really alive.
The fact that Toys”R” Us has filed for bankruptcy might be a surprise for some but not for me. The only time I shop there is when my kids have birthday parties to attend, and I need to have gifts that are easy to return. I wish that Amazon had a kiosk for easy returns that would kill even more retailers.
I have stopped shopping at Toys”R” Us 3 years ago after a terrible online experience. I was shopping for my daughter’s Christmas Gift, a Frozen Set, a must have at that time. I have purchased the set and few other items and successfully completed the transaction. I was happy to have gotten the items and that my holiday shopping was complete. The next day I received a surprise email letting me know that my item is sold out and I will not be receiving it. On top of that because my purchase without the out-of-stock item is under the minimum free shipping amount Toys “R” Us would charge me the shipping fee for the entire order. My first reaction was to contact the customer service department, which resulted in hours spent waiting on a phone. After all this hassle the customer service department finally had revoked the shipping charge, that’s all. No apologies, no discount, and no Frozen set. It was one of the worst online experiences of my life. I am sure I was not the only one experiencing this terrible customer service. How could a company that has been around for so long fail its customer’s like that?
Below are the top 3 opportunities that could have saved the retail but were not implemented, causing it become a real-life retail zombie-still open but not really alive.
Top 3 missed opportunities for Toys “R” Us
Baby, toddler, and kid products
Having educational newsletters and promotions as the child grows are critical to keeping the customer engaged.
Having in-store workshops and events for the kids is a great way to get children motivated to shop at Toys Rus.
News flash: children need toys and books after the age of 2. It seems most baby/child retailers just focus on the first 2 years of the child life and after that, the older kids needs are no longer important. With the right strategy, you can easily capture the market up until the tweens years.
Birthday Gifts-Toy Market
Toy gifts for birthday parties are the biggest market today. Amazon is amazing to buy things for your own kids but for others, the ability for easy returns made Toys Rus is the place to go for birthday parties. To allow customers to have a central gift list would have been amazing and together with easy returns would have helped corner the market. If most kids will not bring the same toy and minimize the trip to the store for returns, the parents would be eternally grateful.
Become the innovator of new toy products discovery center. The issue with Amazon is that it has all the products, but you cannot test and feel new innovative products. The stores should have been innovative, groundbreaking places where shoppers could see new products first hand.
Toys “R” Us had all the potential but unfortunately died many years ago and was just wasting away just waiting for a Zombie slayer to end their suffering. Make sure you do not become the next retail Zombie!
Watch the video how modern moms are buying birthday gifts.