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#FarewellToysRUs: 3 Things You Could’ve Done Better

Since the news broke on Toys R Us closing its doors, I’ve been receiving emails from Toys R Us and Babies R Us stating that they’re going out of business and why I should take advantage of their deals.

I’ve opened several of these emails to see what these deals were and whether it would be worth driving to the East side of our town.Sadly, they’re not deals at all.

Although a number of bloggers are heading to their local Toys R Us and doing photo shoots of their children in the store, I will be the first to say that I won’t be missing the retailer.

Yes, I have fond memories from my childhood of heading down the aisles to purchase toys with my parents. It wasn’t until I became a parent that I realized how much Toys R Us — and Babies R Us included — could’ve done more to win me over.

Toys, Clothes, Gadgets…And? 
My kids love toys. They love playing with them and even have a playroom dedicated to all the wonderful toys they’re collected throughout the years. They also watch other kids on YouTube, but will ask for the toys as well and get excited when they see the same toys inside the stores we frequent.

Our four-year-old son asks to go to Toys R Us at least once a week to “check out the toys”. We often head over to the toy aisles at stores we frequent to help keep the boys entertained while we “check out my things,” also known as, get things for our home. It’s nice to be able to have a balance when you enter a store. You can grab what you need and check out things you want in the near future.

3 Things Toys R Us Should’ve Done For Consumers
At Toys R Us, the aisles are limited.  My eyes are drawn to everything all at once. As a child, that’s exciting because you want to grab every shiny, new toy. As an adult, you almost want to reposition the aisles so they allow for more space and chop the shelves in half. Or maybe that’s just me.

Below are three ideas that could’ve helped Toys R Us remain a part of our toy shopping experience, regardless of the YouTube era.
1. Offer more for growing families.
Toys are great for the imagination, but so are books. Reading time is essential, and a lot of families are looking for activities to do with their children on their days off. Retailers like Barnes and Noble and The Home Depot have weekends throughout the month dedicated to parents and their children where they can enjoy activities that help strengthen their bond.

2. Bring back memories.
It’s nice to see how many families are looking back on their trips to Toys R Us as a child and/or with their children, but I think it’s a little late to have these emotions right now as the store prepares to close its doors.A lot of the stores that are owning it in the retail industry are the ones with a personalized shopping experience. You know that nostalgic feeling of walking into a toy store and remembering what it was like to play with a certain character after seeing it on the shelves? That’s something Toys R Us could’ve offered. A designated area for retro toys that made you think of what it was like to have that toy at home. (Plus side, it might’ve triggered parents to want to purchase one for their kids as well). 
3. Make it an adventure.
Whenever I enter Toys R Us, I feel bombarded with toys. Although they have designated sections for different characters and age groups, it doesn’t feel as though you can easily distinguish one section from the next. It feels like I’m at a wholesale club and whatever is above is just storage.When I think of a toy store, I think of having fun. Whether you’re walking in for a present or just looking for a toy for your little one, it’s important to feel comfortable at the store — after all, that’s what will lead you to make a purchase there.Had Toys R Us made shopping at its stores more of an adventure — add a treasure hunt or lead customers throughout the store with arrows/images — it would’ve made a difference and might’ve given them more foot traffic.

Were you a Toys R Us kid like I was growing up?

Former B2B editor and marketer turned Family & Lifestyle blogger. Fatima is passionate about life and being social. When she isn't running around with her husband, three kids, and two pups, Fatima helps other bloggers and local businesses with their online marketing strategy. If you have any questions or would like to connect, feel free to reach out via email: tima@motherhoodthroughmyeyes.com

18 Comments

  • bye:myself

    We had this chain in Europe a couple of years ago, but here it was not such a success. I guess that stores, too, have to constantly improve their marketing – especially in times like these when everything is accessible at any time from the internet. Just having stuff in store and waiting for customers doesn’t do anymore.

  • Joan Cajic

    It’s so sad my son was talking about the store he went last time which was toys r us, I hadn’t thought about it in a while and now I have to try and explain why we won’t be going there again.

  • Alessandra

    Those are some great suggestions. It’s a bit tricky keeping a physical store chain of their size these days, when people can go look for novelties there and then shop online. It was almost like they were working as a showroom for their competitors. Investing in improving their in-store experience would have been worth a try.

  • Julie Plagens

    You have some really good points. I thought they were over priced. I found Target or Walmart less expensive and closer. I’m said they are going out of business, but I can see why. I also felt overwhelmed when I went in there.

  • AlwaysCarryOn.com

    I was gutted to hear about the demise of Toys R Us, I won’t lie. I have memories of queuing up overnight for a Tamagotchi, and of tricycling down the aisles with my brothers in a trailer on the back. I like your suggestions of making the store a more family-oriented ans inclusive experience, but I don’t think even they would have helped, well not here in the UK anyway. You said it yourself, kids these days are watching YouTube – stupid videos of other kids playing Minecraft or of weird kids opening up Kinder Eggs. They don’t watch as much “normal” TV (with ad after ad) anymore, and if they do watch TV it’s on-demand, so you can bypass ads altogether. For those ads they do see, there’s another “on demand” option that Toys R Us couldn’t compete with: Amazon. Things can be delivered in as little as an hour now, so there’s no need to take a family trip to Toys R Us on a Saturday morning anymore (that’s after the kids have done enough chores to earn the money they need to buy the toy themselves…). So yes, I’m sad that Toys R Us has gone, but not surprised. I think it’s only a matter of time before bookshops start disappearing too, unfortunately 😦 x

  • Valerie Christie

    Can not believe that Toys R Us is no longer around. So many fond memories of shopping for holidays and gifts at this Big Box store. They did not change with the time, is the reason they had to close. SMH

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