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September 17, 2012



Overall, I agree that Toys R Us has some real advantages over some other types of retailers when it comes to competing with Amazon. One is that their core consumer can't use a computer. Of course, their core consumer can't drive, either. But most parents can. Most of those car free urbanites will buy a car when they have kids. (So says ex-car-free-urbanite.)

But although the refurbished TRU stores are an improvement, they haven't gone far enough -- IMHO. I vote for better lighting, wider aisles, a place to sit down, and maybe a coffee shop, before adding more sku's. Last spring I went to Toys R Us (a relatively new, renovated store) and followed customers around at a discreet distance. Almost every customer at some point backed up to try to take in a whole aisle of shelves, only to bump into the other side of the aisle before he or she could comfortably scan the shelves.

Also, I would like to see ways to encourage parents to bring KIDS to Toys R Us. Go into any mall Lego Store, American Girl Store, or Build a Bear workshop and it is full of kids with their parents. But Toys R Us is always full of just parents. Why?

A store whose layout I like better is Michaels. The shelves in the middle of the store are low, allowing the customer to scan the whole store when they come in. I can also see the edges of the store, which I like.

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