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February 23, 2018


Let’s hope the independents inherent the earth — Ma and Pa get to expand locations and capture more market share with TRU gone in the near future.

Chris Heatherly

Its been a few years for me but I always had a great relationship with TRU. Yes, they asked for a lot, and yes it didn't always make sense in terms of what they could deliver. But they also could do more than other retailers to support both the small guys and big brands. The biggest problems I had with them almost always were borne of the flaws in their model – too much product, too little foot fall.

I would argue that if TRU can find a contemporary model, it will create the alignment they need with partners.

There have been hundreds of people involved at TRU who had brilliant ideas on how to re-invent the company, all focused on experience and dealing with some of the obvious flaws of the business model.

The challenge is quite simply that the sponsorship groups have never had the desire to make the investments required to actually execute this. Retail is capital, and that was never the goal of the owners.

The massive debt combined with the nature of the LBO makes fixing TRU nearly impossible. While they have always been challenging for vendors (back to the halcyon days when they were #1), the market corrected that over time.

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