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JEDIpartner
08-11-2004, 05:42 PM
Extra
Toys R Us may get out of the toy biz
Intense competition has taken the fun and profit out of toys. There's more future in baby goods, troubled retailer says.

By Reuters

Toys R Us, a toy retailer slammed by intense competition from discounters such as Wal-Mart, may sell its toy business and focus on its fast-growing Babies R Us unit, the company said on Wednesday.

Toys R Us (TOY (http://moneycentral.msn.com/scripts/webquote.dll?iPage=qd&Symbol=TOY), news (http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/rcnews.asp?Symbol=TOY), msgs (http://moneycentral.msn.com/community/message/board.asp?Symbol=TOY)), whose shares fell 6% on the news but later recovered, said it intends to separate ownership of its two businesses and is looking at various steps to accomplish this, including a spin-off of Babies R Us.

By separating the businesses, Babies R Us would be better able to thrive and build on its core market of supplying bedding, furniture and clothes to expectant and new parents, it said.

The toy business, which targets a much different customer, will face a dramatic cut in operating expenses and capital in an effort to boost its cash flow, the retailer added.

"We are not surprised by the news that Toys R Us management is preparing for a rougher ride," said Richard Hastings, an analyst with Bernard Sands. "The mass market retail toy business remains very volatile and exposed to significant risks."

More future in babies
Toys R Us Chairman John Eyler said in a statement, "The series of steps we are announcing today reflect the fact that our global toy business and our Babies R Us business operate in distinct markets and are at fundamentally different phases in their growth cycle."

"It's going to be really good for the company," said Jim Silver, a toy industry expert and publisher of Toy Book and other trade magazines.

Toys R Us has 683 toy stores in the United States and 579 abroad. Babies R Us, the largest baby product specialty store chain in the world, has 200 U.S. stores.

Richard Markee, who was president of U.S. toy stores, will become chief executive and president of Babies R Us upon separation of the two businesses.

Silver said, "There has been concern about Toys R Us being bad spenders, but under the new leadership it'll be a lean, tightly run operation."

Toys R Us, based in Wayne, N.J., also said it had postponed the release of its second-quarter earnings by one week, to Aug. 23.

Toy competition is fierce
The toy operations have been grappling with competition from big discounters like Wal-Mart (WMT (http://moneycentral.msn.com/scripts/webquote.dll?iPage=qd&Symbol=WMT), news (http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/rcnews.asp?Symbol=WMT), msgs (http://moneycentral.msn.com/community/message/board.asp?Symbol=WMT)) and Target (TGT (http://moneycentral.msn.com/scripts/webquote.dll?iPage=qd&Symbol=TGT), news (http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/ticker/rcnews.asp?Symbol=TGT), msgs (http://moneycentral.msn.com/community/message/board.asp?Symbol=TGT)). Price wars among toy retailers have led to bankruptcy for FAO Inc., parent of the upscale FAO Schwarz toy stores, and mall-based toy retailer KB Toys.

Toys R Us plans to take about $150 million in markdowns in the second quarter, primarily to liquidate selected U.S. toy store inventory. It said it would not make a decision to close any of its stores between now and the conclusion of the 2004 holiday season.

Toys R Us shares were down 35 cents to $16.07 near midday on the New York Stock Exchange after falling as low as $15.43 earlier in the session.

LTBasker
08-11-2004, 06:44 PM
Well hell, it's basically like you can't find anything anymore. You have to walk all over the criss-cross layout of the toy aisle to find anything as they constantly move stuff around. Also with the way it's designed, theres very little space for mass amounts of customers and product to fit. (I have trouble getting to things when theres just 1-2 other people in the same area)

So I wonder why they're losing customers. :p

Exhaust Port
08-11-2004, 06:46 PM
As much as I like to shop online I would hate to see TRU disappear from the Toy market. There is nothing like sorting through pegs and pegs of figures looking for a figure. Where will kids be able to go and day dream about toy nirvana?

derek
08-11-2004, 07:03 PM
Where will kids be able to go and day dream about toy nirvana?

wal mart? :confused: ;)

i'm not suprised. toys r us is really bad about keeping slow selling stuff on the shelves for WAY too long. and i see empty store parking lots all the time. i could see this coming 5 years ago. :cry:

Ji'dai
08-11-2004, 07:14 PM
I am able to find more new toys in the small toy section at Wal-Mart than at a dedicated toy store like TRU. And that's true even though the Super Wal-Mart here usually only has four pegs for Star Wars for most of the year whereas TRU has a block of them plus shelf space for vehicles. I'd hate to lose TRU though. It seems toy shopping is shifting to online retailers at a time when I still prefer to pick out my own stuff; not to mention avoiding shipping costs. Future exclusives, if they're made at all, will go to online retailers instead. And the greater the exclusivity of an item, the higher the price a retailer can charge.

Exhaust Port
08-11-2004, 07:15 PM
After working 2 winter seasons at TRU I saw how inefficient their operation was. It was a miracle they sold anything. I know quite a few times that walking the storage racks I found toys that I was interested in but had never made it to the shelves. They never knew what they were getting or what they really had.

JediTricks
08-11-2004, 09:48 PM
Oh geez, what is WRONG with their management? Ever since they went to the Concept 3000 floorplan (the current one, though now it's been modified because of how poor it was doing), it's like they can't make a right decision. Every store is grossly mismanaged, and instead of giving extra space to boys toys that are once again expanding they first crammed everything into those awful C-3k x-shaped aisles that leave everything dark and dingey and minimize shelfspace, took the popular front-door area and turned it into the wildly-unsuccessful Animal Alley, and turned over the prime realestate on their floor to a mishmoshed section of educational toys and more realestate to their Babies R Us section. And didn't they learn from the massive failure of their Kids R Us stores enough to not jump full-on into this Babies R Us idea? Plus, now they've got this half-arsed video store thing by the registers, which wouldn't be so bad if their title selection weren't such a mess and the only other products by the registers are filthy, half-destroyed clearance items and candy.

The stores are hemmoraging customers to other chains because no matter how competitive their prices get, their local management destroys every line's momentum by refusing to shelve new product, letting old product take up prime realestate, letting product get dusty, allowing employees to act rudely to customers, maximizing scalper acceptance, minimizing focus on several major lines at once, and just letting their stores get run into the ground. The first thing they need to do is go back to a more traditional aisle system, one that allows more control over displays, less of these easily-overlooked endcaps, maximizes customer flow-through while minimizing bottlenecks, and most importantly gives a feeling of vast amounts of product under quality lighting rather than the small, dank corners of sadness they currently experience.

Exhaust Port
08-11-2004, 10:03 PM
I completely agree! The new floorplan sucks. All the customers complain about it as do the employees but who are they to make suggestions.

Dr Zoltar
08-12-2004, 01:01 AM
Wow JediTricks! Don't hold back.

But everything you said is the truth. Those X style displays are horrible and they consistently don't rotate in new stock.

And the stores aren't only dirty, they are messy to the point of being dangerous. My wife and I visited one a few weeks ago and she nearly slipped and fell on a clothes hanger on the floor. She took it to the customer service counter (which contained 4 employees) and told them that someone really needs to clean up the floor. They couldn't have cared less. The manager finally approached us in the action figure aisle and we told her that she really should have an employee walk around the store and clean product and trash off the floor. She told us that they didn't have the money to hire an employee to do that! Never mind there were 4 at the customer service counter just hanging out. My wife had a great come back by telling the manager that lawsuits for customers injuring themselves is a lot more costly than hiring someone to keep the aisles clear.

There management better not be scratching their heads over why the stores are doing poorly. Just ask some of us that regularly visit.

mastermatt24
08-12-2004, 02:05 AM
I saw the story on the news.. I dont know if I would be too sad to see TRU go. IDK.. I was so happy to see a Wal Mart open so close to me, but now I dont go there to often. Like they said Wal Mart and Target are driving them away, but I havent found anything WOW at a TRU in a LONG time... Ive been going to TRU since I was a little guy. Kinda bitter sweet, dont mind to see it go, but would've liked to find stuff there. (LIKE KB!!)
Message to TRU: God.. Bring us new stuff or I could care less if you go. :neutral:

LTBasker
08-12-2004, 02:47 AM
So let's see...

Wal-Mart's Toy aisle is stingy and usually controlled by kids that don't buy anything. (Yu-Gi-Oh, Digimon, etc.)

Target's got a mean attitude

TRU's lazy

K-Mart's outta here

KB's outta here.


I miss the 90's. :(

Deoxyribonucleic
08-12-2004, 04:02 AM
I hope they go...it'll serve them right for how crappy they keep their stores. I feel dirty just gong into them these days :mad:

I miss the days when the action figures were in the back of the store with the parallel aisles! For whatever reason, that brings good memories :) Now it just looks wrong!

JEDIpartner
08-12-2004, 09:01 AM
I will certainly miss the trip to the toy (specific) store if TRU hits the bricks. I think that part of the problem is that there isn't really enough 1:1 competition as there was back in the day when there were regional & national outlets like Kiddie City, Toyland or Children's Palace. I think they became a little sloppy and careless as they didn't need to keep up with the other big toy boxes. I can say that the TRUs in Japan were really something to behold. I wish they'd get some of their people over here to fix the mess.

TRU is starting to look as sloppy and post-elephant stampede looking as most Wal*Marts. Sad.

Equator
08-12-2004, 10:35 AM
All of you guys are right. Toys R Us upper management does not seem to know what they are doing. When they announced a few years back the decision to remodel their stores, I was one who thought it was a great idea and long overdue. I didn't necessarily mind the old aisle concept, I just felt it would be nice to enter a new environment.

Of course, that was before I saw the results of what they decided to go with. Shopping there is like going on some kind of demented scavenger hunt. They couldn't even make up their minds HOW the new design was going to be -- there are still straight aisles in some places, x-displays in others, etc. There does not seem to be a logical flow to the store like the old way had.

They also don't seem to be able to realize that sometimes you have to bite the bullet and take a loss on an item to get rid of it and make room for the new stuff. There are items hanging on pegs in TRU with the same clearance tags on them that were put there three years ago! For God's sake, guys, mark the darn things down to 50 cents and get rid of them. Holding out for that one guy who might come in tomorrow in desperate search of the last Warriors of Virtue action figures is not efficient business.

What's really sad is that they do seem to get the new stuff in, but half of it sits in the stockroom waiting for the old stuff to sell out, and the other half goes right out the door with the scalpers who have the employees in their back pocket.

Why is TRU having trouble? Because their management has no clue about how their business is really operating and how their customers would like it to operate.

KB Toys is actually planning to emerge from bankruptcy soon. When they do, they actually have plans to re-open a lot of the stores that they closed, because the malls that refused to cut them a deal on their leases have realized how screwed they are without a toy store. KB had major upper management shake-ups over the whole bankruptcy thing. Maybe they will have learned something from their mistakes and the "New" KB Toys will save the toy specialty store from disappearing altogether. Hey, maybe they could even buy the TRU stores! ;)

Honestly, I don't care either way, so long as those Wal-Mart guys don't succeed in their evil plans of world-domination.

Jayspawn
08-12-2004, 11:58 AM
My TRU hardly gets in anything new at all anways. They never rotate. Its hard as hell to find something. Old merchindise sits, and sits and sits. Every now and then a new item will grace the pegs before its snatched up!

Slicker
08-12-2004, 12:19 PM
There is nothing like sorting through pegs and pegs of figures looking for a figure.When I first read this on Yahoo! that was the first thing I thought. I went to Toys "R" Us almost everyday pretty much knowing that they wouldn't have any new product but there was always that chance you would see an entire new wave of figures on the pegs just waiting for you to buy them. If they go under I'll be upset because I think every kid should be able to experience the joy of walking down aisle after aisle of just toys instead of having to first walk through the grocery section then hang a right at the man thongs so that they can be disappointed at the poor selection of toys. It'll be a damn shame.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
08-12-2004, 12:44 PM
I hope it doesn't go, they just need to re-do some things. TRU always offers great exclusives (well, most of the time) that other stores wouldn't touch. Unfortunately the TRU about 15 minutes away from my house closed down a few years ago, and the one about 30 minutes away hardly ever gets in anything. Not unless you need fifty Royal Guards! :rolleyes:

What ever happened to those massive clearances? Why don't they have another one of those? That would generate interest in the stores and help get in more product.

kool-aid killer
08-12-2004, 02:45 PM
Ive got mixed feelings on this news. Part of me feels a bit bummed knowing that its one less toy store to hit up looking for new figures. Then the other part of me says it serves them right for keeping some crap on the pegs for far too long. The TRU nearest me has a whole aisle dedicated to old toys lines marked down on clearance. Yet their prices are still too insane to pay for most of the junk thats hanging around. Anybody still looking for some Disneys Atlantis merchandise? :rolleyes: The only reason i go in there anymore is for exclusives. Other than that i have no reason to visit. Just the same dusty arse toys hanging in the usual pegs.

JediTricks
08-12-2004, 04:41 PM
Wow Zoltar, that sounds really bad. The stores in my area range from dirty to clean, yet I can think of 2 that are as bad as you say when I stop and think about it (especially on the weekends). And you're right, there's always 2 or 3 clowns doing nothing in the customer service booth now, and they're NEVER much help when you actually need service.

Here's the thing that TRU no longer seems to understand, they BUILT the year-round toy industry but forgot that it was collectors who kept it alive in the '90s. Now they treat collectors like crap and scalpers like kings, the kids get lost in the middle and TRU can't figure out where the money went.

Another problem, the chain still doesn't have adequate displays, the toys are rarely shown on display, only packaging. And what does that stem from? Too many employees who don't love toys. There's no passion in the chain anymore, only corporate mis-thinking.

Kidhuman
08-13-2004, 12:25 AM
I hope they go. I havent bought from them in almost three years, and I went to one in a completely different state than I live in to buy something. The one by me hasnt had any new figures in two years. It is a waste of time and money to go to this store, so get rid of them and make room for something else.

Exhaust Port
08-13-2004, 11:40 AM
I'd just hate to see a store go because they claim there isn't any money in toys but we all know it's because their stock and organization suck. If they were better run I'm sure a lot of us would be in their to buy our toys. They offer pre-sales on video games, why not toys?

TheDarthVader
08-13-2004, 12:47 PM
I have found a few things at my TRU. I really don't want them to close. Even though that article said some stores would close, that doesn't mean all of them will. It also said something about "downsizing" the toy store and focusing on Babies R Us. That doesn't mean all toys will be gone. I would imagine that they would keep the real popular toys such as Sports Picks, LOTR, SW, Transformers, and others. That is just my guess. I don't want my TRU to close down. I have found items there many times. The only items I hardly ever find at TRU are new figures. I find unleashed, vehicles, and three packs. Hell, I can't find ANY unleashed at two Wal Marts around my hometown. :( And the Target just has pegs full of the Obi Wan Unleashed figure. So I don't want to see them go......not just yet anyway.

B.
TDV

ronhudy
08-13-2004, 02:33 PM
Oh geez, what is WRONG with their management? Ever since they went to the Concept 3000 floorplan (the current one, though now it's been modified because of how poor it was doing), it's like they can't make a right decision. Every store is grossly mismanaged, and instead of giving extra space to boys toys that are once again expanding they first crammed everything into those awful C-3k x-shaped aisles that leave everything dark and dingey and minimize shelfspace, took the popular front-door area and turned it into the wildly-unsuccessful Animal Alley, and turned over the prime realestate on their floor to a mishmoshed section of educational toys and more realestate to their Babies R Us section. And didn't they learn from the massive failure of their Kids R Us stores enough to not jump full-on into this Babies R Us idea? Plus, now they've got this half-arsed video store thing by the registers, which wouldn't be so bad if their title selection weren't such a mess and the only other products by the registers are filthy, half-destroyed clearance items and candy.

The stores are hemmoraging customers to other chains because no matter how competitive their prices get, their local management destroys every line's momentum by refusing to shelve new product, letting old product take up prime realestate, letting product get dusty, allowing employees to act rudely to customers, maximizing scalper acceptance, minimizing focus on several major lines at once, and just letting their stores get run into the ground. The first thing they need to do is go back to a more traditional aisle system, one that allows more control over displays, less of these easily-overlooked endcaps, maximizes customer flow-through while minimizing bottlenecks, and most importantly gives a feeling of vast amounts of product under quality lighting rather than the small, dank corners of sadness they currently experience.

VERY GOOD POST! They are also losing money due to their flawed pricing structure, which is:

1. Price merchandise 10-15% above everyone else.
2. Merchandise sits on shelf for 6 months (sometimes much longer).
3. Clearance the merchandise 25%-50% off the original price.

Now wouldn't it have just been easier to sell it at a competetive price when the product was the "in" thing. But no...tried to gouge, so now you're stuck losing money trying to move merchandise nobody wants. Any Toys R Us execs out there take any basic economics courses...? (This applies to KB as well.)

I don't care what kind of "army building" collector you are - NOBODY needs 20 Zutton's in their collection!!!

El Chuxter
08-13-2004, 03:24 PM
How long did it take them to clearance shelf-hogs like the Dewback and Tauntaun?

Why are the Transformers G1 reissues sometimes as much as twice the price of Alternators that are slightly larger and much better quality?

Why does a toy store not carry Barbie in many of its stores? (I'm not kidding -- I mean, we may not be into that, but my niece has commented that she's not interested in shopping at TRU anymore for that reason).

Why are new items never in the computer until you take them to the register, where they fiddle-fart around for as much as 45 minutes while the customer continually repeats, "I collect these things; it's in the same assortment as that other piece which is older and should be in the computer," before they finally come to the same conclusion you've been repeating over and over ad nauseum, but seem to think they're doing you a favor and that you had never said that? (Seriously. More than a few times at the local TRU, only the knowledge that whatever I'd found was incredibly tough to find kept me in there.)

Why are there still Battlefield Earth figures on the pegs?

Why is it logical to get rid of a floor plan that makes sense (efficient use of space and easy to find items) in favor of something MC Escher drew up while he was high on crack?

Why does a toy story make a big deal about the DVD release of R-rated action movies with no kid appeal?

When was the last time "experts" from a store (supposedly) completely devoted to toys actually learned what collectors and kids want?

Yeah, I'd say they have some serious management issues.

If they close stores, I hope they do so after I find all those cool TRU-exclusive Alien Racer figures that I saw at the SDCC. Those things were kewl. :D

mastermatt24
08-13-2004, 04:40 PM
I don't care what kind of "army building" collector you are - NOBODY needs 20 Zutton's in their collection!!!
Come on.. Tycho might.. ;)

mastermatt24
08-13-2004, 04:44 PM
Why are there still Battlefield Earth figures on the pegs?
LoL. Isn't that sad?? My TRU has the big helicopter ship thing on clearence thats been there forever, and is still 20 bucks....


Why does a toy story make a big deal about the DVD release of R-rated action movies with no kid appeal?
What was this? I dont remeber. :confused:

ronhudy
08-13-2004, 06:36 PM
Why are there still Battlefield Earth figures on the pegs?

Why is it logical to get rid of a floor plan that makes sense (efficient use of space and easy to find items) in favor of something MC Escher drew up while he was high on crack?


LOL!!! That's a funny comparison. MC Escher is one of my favorite artists!

And speaking of "Battlefield Earth" figures, my Wal-Mart here has "Scorpion King" figures still on the pegs...and NOT EVEN ON CLEARANCE!!! Don't they realize that movie came out 2 1/2 years ago?!

mastermatt24
08-13-2004, 10:28 PM
Don't they realize that movie came out 2 1/2 years ago?!
Guess not-- Most of the people working there are probablly to poor to go see movies.

JediTricks
08-13-2004, 10:52 PM
They offer pre-sales on video games, why not toys?They tried this with Ep 1 cinema scenes and a few other items in the line, to call the outcome a "fiasco" would be generous.


Ron, I don't have a problem with TRU's pricing for most of their boys-toys and educational toys stock, I find that Star Wars, Hot Wheels, Transformers, Batman, Spider-man, LEGO, these items are generally the same price within a few cents of Target & WM except for an oddball here and there (sometimes TRU is actually a buck cheaper than WM or 40 cents more than Target on these oddballs). Kmart, now they are the ones where everything is around 10% more expensive than TRU/Target/WM pricing, if TRU and Target have a SW figure for $5, Kmart will price it at $5.50 or $6 and then let the customers savage the packaging until it is almost unrecognizable but still put it on pegs expecting someone to buy it.



Why does a toy store not carry Barbie in many of its stores? (I'm not kidding -- I mean, we may not be into that, but my niece has commented that she's not interested in shopping at TRU anymore for that reason). What? I've never seen a TRU that didn't have a prime piece of floorspace dedicated to Mattel's supermodel-scientist-stay at home mom. Barbie is one of TRU's major brands, most TRUs have what they call a "Barbie shop" because the section is so big.



Why does a toy store make a big deal about the DVD release of R-rated action movies with no kid appeal? Impulse purchases, and it does sometimes work, that's why that whole video store section was added near the registers. However, the selection there is pretty bad, and the registers themselves have the worst mishmash of impulse items ever offered anywhere, from cheap plastic cars to $1 pool tables to candy nobody wants to baby bottles, it makes no sense and looks overly busy. Impulse buys can be big business, but not this way.


I hope they do so after I find all those cool TRU-exclusive Alien Racer figures that I saw at the SDCC. Those things were kewl. :D I've been seeing the Alien Racer R/C vehicles at Target already, they look pretty neat.




I don't care what kind of "army building" collector you are - NOBODY needs 20 Zutton's in their collection!!!
Come on.. Tycho might.. ;) LOL!!! Oh man, that was funny as hell! Big props on that one! :D

Kidhuman
08-13-2004, 11:06 PM
They tried this with Ep 1 cinema scenes and a few other items in the line, to call the outcome a "fiasco" would be generous.

I remember that with the Queens Starship. I had it on preorder and they kept pushing it back every week it seemed.



Ron, I don't have a problem with TRU's pricing for most of their boys-toys and educational toys stock, I find that Star Wars, Hot Wheels, Transformers, Batman, Spider-man, LEGO, these items are generally the same price within a few cents of Target & WM except for an oddball here and there (sometimes TRU is actually a buck cheaper than WM or 40 cents more than Target on these oddballs). Kmart, now they are the ones where everything is around 10% more expensive than TRU/Target/WM pricing, if TRU and Target have a SW figure for $5, Kmart will price it at $5.50 or $6 and then let the customers savage the packaging until it is almost unrecognizable but still put it on pegs expecting someone to buy it.


There prices were equivelant to KB IMO. Way too high, and they never have new stock.



What? I've never seen a TRU that didn't have a prime piece of floorspace dedicated to Mattel's supermodel-scientist-stay at home mom. Barbie is one of TRU's major brands, most TRUs have what they call a "Barbie shop" because the section is so big.

You forgot McDonalds employee and movie star


Impulse purchases, and it does sometimes work, that's why that whole video store section was added near the registers. However, the selection there is pretty bad, and the registers themselves have the worst mishmash of impulse items ever offered anywhere, from cheap plastic cars to $1 pool tables to candy nobody wants to baby bottles, it makes no sense and looks overly busy. Impulse buys can be big business, but not this way.


Batteries are the only impulse item I ever buy

JediTricks
08-13-2004, 11:26 PM
I don't remember what I preordered, but I do remember that it was an absolute disaster, and that the folks who preordered the first 2 Cinema Scenes were miserable when most of them only got the stupid Marketplace one. Also, the employees ended up not holding back enough units for the presells and then held back too many, it was just a huge mess.

TRU's prices are like KB's or Kmart's are like KB's? I've found that KB is more expensive than any major chain except the now-defunct FAO Schwarz.

Barbie is also Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Cleopatra, as well as a candidate for President in 2000. :D

Wow, I NEVER buy batteries from TRU, they are the most overpriced item in the store IMO, sometimes double the prices at Target & WM. I rarely buy anything from their impulse sections, occasionally a new candy treat but that's about it.

Kidhuman
08-13-2004, 11:42 PM
Wow, I NEVER buy batteries from TRU, they are the most overpriced item in the store IMO, sometimes double the prices at Target & WM. I rarely buy anything from their impulse sections, occasionally a new candy treat but that's about it.


Well, I meant in general. I wouldnt buy them from TRU.

Jedibill
08-14-2004, 04:01 AM
Funny thing is they say there not selling toys big surprise Ive been at TRU and Wal-Mart and had employees take them from me or at least put them in back so the collector cant get them, even overheard empolyee say that collectors were like flies LOL, anyway thats another story. I really hope they keep going its very hard finding anything now 4 less stores in my area wont help any.

mastermatt24
08-14-2004, 02:34 PM
LOL!!! Oh man, that was funny as hell! Big props on that one! :D

Thanks. :D :crazed:

B'Omarr Monkey
08-14-2004, 05:53 PM
I could see this coming back when TRU hired their new CEO in the mid-90s. He was the one who initiated the store layout changes, and also seriously considered changing TRU into a toy clearance store like KB was essentially, because they couldn't compete with Wal-Mart and Target.

What I'm not clear on is how can they not compete with Target and Wal-Mart? Those department stores have about six-eight short aisles designated for all their toys, whereas TRU has an entire store. Move the clothes into a different store if you need to. I also thought that stores could sell their merchandise for lower prices based on discounts they received for buying so much of it from the supplier, so why isn't TRU able to sell their stuff for even 25 cents less than Wal-Mart and Target? Maybe if they stocked stuff that was new, when they got it in, instead of holding back until after everyone has already bought it at Wal-Mart and Target.

I won't miss them except as nostalgia. Most of the toys I buy for myself (Hellboy for example) TRU doesn't even carry. Every week, as a sort of allowance, my kids get to pick out an action figure, or similarly priced toy. My daughter is saving up for something bigger, but my son and I go out every week and hardly ever go to "Toys For Us" as my kids call it. He can never find anything he's looking for at TRU either (mainly Justice League action figures and the like) so we hit Target first then Meijer.

JediTricks
08-15-2004, 10:21 PM
B'Omarr, TRU has less stores than Target or WM, so they don't get as much price-break as those other chains who have more power with manufacturers. However, I firmly believe that if TRU goes out of the toy selling business, the whole toy market will crumble around Target & WM's feet and it'll take decades to rebuild.

Knightfall
08-16-2004, 11:35 AM
It's really a shame...when I was a kid, I loved going into Toys R Us and strolling down the mile-high action figure aisles that seemed to go on forever. I especially loved that half-wall of nothing but POTF figures, and they always had every figure I was looking for...

That seems like such a long time ago. Now when I go to TRU, I get knocked over by the tidal wave of unsellable Luminaras and Bespin Guards, and then I get rammed in the groin by one of those little kids running around that idiotic "playplace" thing they stuck in the middle of the store. It'll be sad to see TRU go, but the TRU of my childhood has been gone for a long time already.

ronhudy
08-23-2004, 07:20 PM
It's really a shame...when I was a kid, I loved going into Toys R Us and strolling down the mile-high action figure aisles that seemed to go on forever. I especially loved that half-wall of nothing but POTF figures, and they always had every figure I was looking for...

That seems like such a long time ago. Now when I go to TRU, I get knocked over by the tidal wave of unsellable Luminaras and Bespin Guards, and then I get rammed in the groin by one of those little kids running around that idiotic "playplace" thing they stuck in the middle of the store. It'll be sad to see TRU go, but the TRU of my childhood has been gone for a long time already.

Here Here...let's raise our glasses to the Toys 'R Us of days gone by...may she rest her soul in peace.

Tycho
08-29-2004, 05:45 PM
Why is Toys R Us going to look at closing?

What has happened to kids that they don't want traditional toys anymore?

We've seen a trend towards video gaming. Granted.


Let's talk about Toys.



VIDEO GAMES:

Why can't TRU compete? Wal-Mart / Target and Good Guys, Circuit City, Software Etc. all have video games, perhaps more accessable and conveniently located within reach of other errands parents need to do, versus going to TRU.

The malls catch the kids hanging out with video game sales (Software Etc.) - but coincidentally, Software Etc. sells some action figures???


SPORTING GOODS:

The best stuff are at specialty sporting goods stores which also carry Dad's guns and fishing gear tackle, and Mom's exercise weights and fashionable workout clothes. Going to TRU for sporting goods? It's not my first choice either. For cheap stuff like Whiffle Ball, it's cool though.

Sporting goods stores already carry items like toy plastic golf sets for toddlers and tee ball equipment, as well as fake lawnmowers and fire engines for toddlers, etc.

Babies R Us can continue to carry the more toy orientated stuff that Sporting Goods stores won't.

STUFFED ANIMALS:

Well aside from having more fun winning them at Disneyland etc, you can get these at baby stores and even in the grocery stores, especially around holidays. Toys R Us has a great collection. So does you local zoo who sells them to benefit wildlife rescue programs.

BARBIE - GIRL TOYS - I think TRU is strong and very competative here. I'm not sure I've seen Barbie in greater quantities anywhere else, but Wal-Mart and Target compete well.


ACTION FIGURES - are kids still after them? Why does Software Etc and Suncoast carry them if they are so obsolete? A new adult realm of collectors go for them, and LOTR proves it can still be successful, to say nothing of Star Wars. Yet Star Trek is almost impoverished after years of Playmates being successful with the line. Art Asylum's problem stemmed from "Enterprises" failures. But GI Joe is going to 3-packs after 2-packs, etc. and trying to compete with those "The Corps" figures that are sold really cheap. MOTU came in and out fast. Transformers are coming back with holding power - but sooner than later people are going to realize most of the product is crap (not counting the Alternators and the Commemorative Gen 1 re-releases). Hot Wheels and Tonka, and other toy car brands remain stable, but are available, as are all these toys, at Wal-Mart and Target.


Looking at the alternatives, I'm not sure Toys R Us can last.

Can it be saved?

What do you think?

What do you think about the toy styles and are really anythings on thier way out?

Slicker
08-29-2004, 05:51 PM
I would really hope that they would stay open at least long enough for my kids that I don't yet have to go and look in awe at an ENTIRE store dedicated to toys. I was watching CNN last week and if I'm not mistaken I heard them say that TRU posted a quarterly profit. Let's just hope it was enough to make them reconsider keeping it open.

mericen
08-29-2004, 07:06 PM
I think they will stay open in some form or the other. But I do think they need to do some reorganizing and maybe consolidate some stores. Plus they do need to do something about their distribution problems. Most of the time I can find the toys I want at Wal-Mart, Target, Etc. months before I see them at Toys R Us. The Toys R Us's around me still have not gotten in the regular OTC figures. This I think is a distribution problem or else it is because there are still a lot of Saga figures on the shelves. I do hope they remain a toy store though.

Tycho
08-29-2004, 07:34 PM
I know Hasbro ships 2 ways:

First come, first served.

Their biggest customers (who are paying the most) first.

With regards to the second one, Wal-Mart's warehouses have a bigger distribution system than TRU does, so they can beat them every time.

The only time I usually find stuff first at TRU is Midnite Madness, since they offer it first.

InsaneJediGirl
08-29-2004, 09:33 PM
I went to Toys R Us yesterday and didnt find anything worth buying SW wise.I think they do need to reorganize in the upper levels in the company,reorganize the stores and shrink a bit more perhaps.Go back to the old straight-isle design,it was much easier for people and kids to find what they were looking for.

More lighting would help too,feels like a cave half the time :D

scruffziller
08-30-2004, 09:36 AM
It's really a shame...when I was a kid, I loved going into Toys R Us and strolling down the mile-high action figure aisles that seemed to go on forever. I especially loved that half-wall of nothing but POTF figures, and they always had every figure I was looking for...
(In Archie Bunker's voice)....THOSE.....WERE....THE.......DAYYYYYS!!:D

Mr. JabbaJohnL
08-30-2004, 06:03 PM
I don't know if I already said it, but they need to play up their exclusives. How many people would know about a new ship or thing they wanted that was exclusive to one store without advertisements? I haven't gotten any ads from TRU lately (as the nearest store is several miles away) but it wouldn't be too horrible for them to advertise their exclusives more. Maybe during the Clone Wars? That would be a good idea. Or when they show the movies on Fox next spring. Or just any time! The only commercial I've seen lately is for the Yoda lightsaber. Granted, I don't watch Cartoon Network or Nick that much anymore so I don't know about their commercials.

Another good idea is to have better exclusives. Even if the plan I wrote above works, what if nobody wants to get it? They should make some of the four-packs I wrote about in my thread in the Dear Hasbro section, lots of people would want those. They just need to be a little smarter in the future.

Why don't Hasbro and TRU start hiring some real collectors??? :D

Rocketboy
08-30-2004, 09:42 PM
It would really suck if TRU closed.
After years of consistent unreliabilty when it comes to new stuff, they have actually been restocking and puting new stuff out the last few weeks and finally getting rid of the ET, Final Fantasy, and Starting Line Up stuff.

mastermatt24
08-31-2004, 01:20 AM
Collecting could get pretty bad if TRU goes.. If it does it means that much more pressure on all of the stores .