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article imageGoing digital: How Toys ‘R’ Us is rising from the grave

By Tim Sandle     Jun 29, 2019 in Business
At one time Toys ‘R’ Us were everywhere, as the physical store dominated shopping malls. Then things went wrong, as specialist stores were hit by e-commerce. Now the retailer itself is finding a second lease of life online.
Toys 'R' Us' new strategy involves strengthening its online business by becoming a more user friendly e-commerce site, ready to challenge offerings from Walmart and Amazon. The company will also be re-opening for business in the U.S. in time for the 2019 holiday season. The new stores will be far fewer and cover a smaller footprint, compared with the once ubiquitous super-stores of the 1980s and 1990s.
Toys 'R' Us was founded in 1948, but due to business pressures and an inability to compete against companies with a strong digital presence, the company announced that it would close all of its U.S. and British stores in March 2018. At this time there were 807 stores worldwide.
With the physical stores, Tru Kids Inc. CEO Richard Barry is intending to open a half-dozen stores in the U.S. by the end of the year, with each store of around 10,000 square feet, according to Mashable. In order to draw in customers, the emphasis will be on the interactive - allowing lots of opportunities for customers to play and engage with the products, a type of try-before-you-buy experience.
The revamped digital site will be geared towards offering multi-channels, better representation of products and discounts equivalent to those found on Amazon.
While the focus on experience is novel, it remains unclear how the revived Toys ‘R’ Us will play with consumers. For example, according to recent data from digital services and solutions provider Avionos, 73 percent of consumers are likely to avoid brands and retailers after a single negative experience.
The survey also finds that 92 percent of consumers indicate they are likely to make repeat purchases in store with a brand or retailer after a positive experience, while nearly all (97 percent) are more likely to do so online. Furthermore, 71 percent of consumers believe a strong presence both in stores and online equates to success for brands and retailers.
Such statistics mean meaning it will be important for Toys ‘R’ Us to prioritize providing a seamless omnichannel experience in this latest iteration.
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