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View Full Version : Toys R Us sells out. . . literally! (What's this mean for us?)



El Chuxter
03-17-2005, 05:52 PM
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=749&e=1&u=/ap/20050317/ap_on_bi_ge/toys_r_us

Not too many details that immediately affect us in any of the articles I've seen, but I can't help but wonder if this is the shot in the arm ol' Geoffrey needs, or a bullet in his head.


There was no immediate word on the buyers' specific plans for the company's roughly 1,500 stores.

"We look forward to building on the many strengths of the company to make the stores a better place to shop and work," Michael M. Calbert, a director at the famed buyout firm KKR, said in a statement.

Hopefully this means the current lousy store layouts will be phased out in favor of more user-friendly setups. I would also hope that the new owners will recognize that a good portion of their profits, like it or not, come from collectors like us. TRU has had a sort of love-hate relationship with us over the past few years, leaning more toward the "hate" end of the equation. (For every cool Silver R2-D2, there are a dozen ways I can come up with where the chain has kicked us in the shins, so to speak.)

It's probably going to be a while before we know how this will pan out. I'd love to see a return to the days of the one-stop shop for every toy imaginable, not the festering rathole with a bazillion Battlefield Earth figures that still aren't marked down.

Kidhuman
03-17-2005, 05:56 PM
I agree, hopefully this will be a good change and help us out.

JediTricks
03-17-2005, 07:12 PM
I suspect this will be a disaster unless they make those changes. I bet they'll turn TRU into another crappy KB-type store and wonder why things aren't working out.

Vortex
03-17-2005, 07:13 PM
But is it a fix to late?

TRU and the rest of these big retailers pre-order cases of toys months in advance. I'm sure they could order missed cases or assortments months later if Hasbro is still making and shipping those cases, but the toy industry and these big boys are already pre-ordering stuff for summer and fall right now.

By the time the bookkeepers and auditors get their hands in there and the changing of the guard takes place will TRU's ordering suffer? Sometimes change-overs are ugly. What's this new company's plan? Revive TRU or call it a loss and close stores and write it off on taxes?

I'm sure this change over is months down the road, but I do wonder if it will effect case assortments that are due later this year or early next especially if this stuff is pre-ordered months in advance. If the numbers say star war toys are dogs after so many months or they aren't moving fast, the new bean counters might opt to pass on future waves. I know how scarce new figures are after the movies go away. Some stores by me at times don't even have a star wars section come summer or fall in non movie years.

This could be a double edged sword for us.

Slicker
03-17-2005, 08:57 PM
I read this and really didn't think that it would affect my toy shopping much at all. It is unfortunate that TRU has had to sell the toy franchise because WM and such but I didn't buy from TRU much at all. Hopefully things turn out for the best though.

bobafrett
03-17-2005, 10:48 PM
I love the size and variety at a TRU store. I hate shopping at KB's, Wal-Marts, Targets because of the limited space, and therefore limited selection. I, back in the day, used to spend hours in a TRU searching for cool toy's I couldn't find at the retail chains. I'm hoping it will be a change for the better.

Blue2th
03-17-2005, 11:58 PM
For one thing, TRU needs to keep an eye on it's own employees who have their own little scalping club. The good toys or one per case figures are misteriously missing from the pegs sometimes. Or when you do see them stocking the box has already been opened. Forget about getting a Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt. Brian's Toys on the TRU website. Obviously buying up the hot items and re-selling them at inflated prices. Yeah I know they sell alot of older collectible items, but it makes you wonder sometimes. Why are they even there? If I wanted a twenty dollar red Arc Trooper, I would go to Brian's Toys website (which is what I did and it arrived mint as promised) As far as Star Wars collecting is concerned, I think that TRU's strengths were it's exclusives. I hope I can get each one of the Jedi Council on sale for my loose collection. :confused:

Exhaust Port
03-18-2005, 09:25 AM
I agree Blue2th, the TRU handling of incoming toys is appalling. Storing, stocking and organizing their incoming toys is a complete mess. It constantly leads to inconsistances with the toys they offer. They'll be properly stocked with Star Wars for a week and then you'll be lucky to see more than a few new figures over the next month.

The only way to insure that you get first crack at incoming toys is to work their or have a long term relationship with the employees. The one that I worked at there were 2 guys that had been buying Matchbox from them forever so they were insured unopened boxes of cars. I constantly watched employees rummaging through a new delivery truck to find a box of toys so they could get the figures they wanted.

Slicker
03-18-2005, 09:38 AM
Why is that it always seems to be the Hotwheels/Matchbox guys that are the most vile collectors. I'm making quite the generalization but just watch all of the posts that are in agreeance. They seem to be the most creepy, rude collectors.

hango fett
03-18-2005, 10:46 AM
good. now maybe they will build on within 30 miles.
HF

Joshkj
03-18-2005, 04:31 PM
Why is that it always seems to be the Hotwheels/Matchbox guys that are the most vile collectors. I'm making quite the generalization but just watch all of the posts that are in agreeance. They seem to be the most creepy, rude collectors.

They are, one time a guy who was across from me(with the crazy TRU layouts) decides a cartfull of hotwheels arennt enough and bargess in front of me and starts ripping through the SW pegs. He tore the j hook of one of the last grevious SP fig, but the manager did give me 20% off.:ermm: :beard:

Blue2th
03-19-2005, 12:30 AM
It is kinda creepy to see grown men outside of Target before it opens while on my way to work. Don't they have jobs? These are the same guys waiting for it to open on a saturday when I'm there sometimes. The Hot Wheels guys. I'm usually the only one going to the action figure isle. As you probably know though these people will buy anything that is hot, including any Star Wars action figure that they can turn around and sell for a profit on eBay. And they will scoop up every one. I never saw the Red Arc Trooper in any store and had to pay twenty bucks online. There in lies the problem with employees in toy departments or toy stores like TRU. It's hard to get first dibs on a scarce figure when the employees have thier own little scalping operation going on right under TRU's noses. Or any other store for that matter. Then people like me or others will stop going in to some places, because we know all the good stuff is already taken. I think that this is a contributing factor to TRU's demise. Yeah there is still about 5 or 6 AOTC figures still warming the pegs at my local TRU (reminds me of KB's) I think they leave them there on purpose so it looks like the Star Wars section is fully stocked. Meanwhile they go and raid the new boxes in the back. :stupid:

plasticfetish
03-19-2005, 05:22 AM
Hopefully this means the current lousy store layouts will be phased out in favor of more user-friendly setups. I would also hope that the new owners will recognize that a good portion of their profits, like it or not, come from collectors like us.We can hope that the new owners will be interested in coming up with all sorts of ways to get people into these stores and spending money.

The biggest handicap that TRU has had for years, is that the stores simply aren't fun to visit. Why deal with the hassle of a poorly designed and maintained store, a general lack of decent merchandise and merchandising, or a staff that doesn't know about or care about the merchandise? It's no wonder that people have decided to simply cross the street and go to Target or Wal*Mart, where they benefit from convenience at the very least.