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« More of My Conversation With Isaac Larian, the Man Behind Bratz and Lalaloopsy | Main | Are Fitness Clubs Becoming Adult Playgrounds; Ninth Grade Revisited »

April 25, 2013

Comments

Newt

I've been saying this for years. However, I would disagree with you on the Hot Toys aspect. Toys R Us would have to do some SERIOUS investment if they wanted to go that route. Hot Toys figures would need to be kept in glass cases. The people who buy those types of figures (which can be up to $500!) won't want little Timmy having had his grubby little mitts all over the package.

I would argue that the biggest challenge TRU faces is having knowledgeable staff and having a good selection. Their online store has thousands of items and several dozen that I want... But they're NEVER in stock. I don't just mean that they're quickly out of stock and then stay that way for weeks... I mean they run out of stock and then never come back. It's a shame that there is stuff I want to buy from Toys R Us, that I simply can't.

Likewise, I recently went into my local TRU location and told them that they were out of stock of an item (that's on the shelf) and that I was specifically instructed to this store because their site-to-store locator said the item was in stock (as usual, not in stock online so I had to go there) but sure enough there were none on the shelves. I then was told that the product WAS on the shelf and was directed to something else that was not that product. I then had to convince the manager that what he was showing me was not at all what I was after. Eventually, he was convinced. Unfortunately, he could not explain why his system said they had 30 of the item in stock when they had none in the store.

The problem was then that they had somehow lost an entire case of this item. As such, they were NEVER going to reorder anymore, because they would have never sold any, thus their system would never trigger a reorder. The only reason they ever became aware of the problem is because of a concerned customer. And it was like pulling teeth to educate the manager on the issue.

Compounding this problem is the fact that this was a Toys R Us exclusive. So this was money that TRU was losing out on from both ends. Not only do they have a stake in selling this item, but creating it as well.

But do you think the story above has a happy ending? It doesn't. Rather than correct the error and reorder this item (where they know they have at least one concerned customer interested in buying them) they removed the item from the store's system and put in a change so that they won't carry this item in the store anymore. Yes, rather than order this requested item, they decided not to carry it!

This is the problem with Toys R Us in a nutshell. Until they have some serious top down refocusing strategies, they're never going to be able to adapt to the adult collector market. I could list a variety of other things that TRU needs to do if they truly want to appeal to this demographic, but it's probably unrealistic that they'll ever implement these changes because they're major customer service overhauls and that's rarely something management wants to address.

Nice Blog and very helpful. Thanks!

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