Is Nostalgia Enough To Support This Retailer’s Comeback? You Be The Judge

Kids and toys go hand-in-hand, and there is perhaps no other more recognized symbol of childhood.

Toys are always nostalgic – we want to provide our children with playthings that engage their minds or allow them to explore outdoors and get some physical activity.

We thought we had said goodbye to one of the most famous toy retailers of recent generations, but is there a comeback on the horizon?

Toys R Us was in business for more than 50 years and was the largest toy retailer for decades –until the corporation was forced to file bankruptcy, liquidate merchandise, and close almost all of its store locations in the U.S. last year.

There were many factors blamed for its demise – “big box” retailers like Walmart and Amazon who offered cheaper prices and free delivery and a lack of digital presence were thought to be the major reasons.

But hundreds of Toys R Us stores have remained open in parts of Europe and Asia, and its lenders still own the rights to the name and marketing symbols, like the beloved Geoffrey the Giraffe.

In January of this year, former Toys R Us executives started a new company called “Tru Kids” in order to manage the old brands and explore how they may evolve and draw back consumers.

Although the full scope of the retailer’s comeback is still in the works, they seem to be considering all options.

And one of the biggest changes would come in the form of a new focus on online marketing, technology, and interactive, customer-focused experiences in brick and mortar stores.

Because online shopping has become so popular – and is so convenient for busy parents – Toys R Us will have to make some major changes to its offerings.

Not taking full advantage of technology and not investing in updates to its stores to suit the modern needs of parents were major contributors to the downfall of Toys R Us in the U.S. – and will need to be a part of any successful return.

Though we may all have thought Toys R Us was gone for good, it still holds a spot in the hearts of today’s parents and children.

Building on that nostalgia while revamping the entire brand and offering new and exciting shopping experiences may just be the perfect formula for success.

Although major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Target have done their best to fill the void created when Toys R Us stores closed in the U.S., it appears that toy manufacturers like Hasbro and Mattel have seen declining sales – especially last Christmas season.

Parents want to shop at a place they trust, one that is comfortable and reliable.

That was what we had with the old Toys R Us, and execs promise that will be at least part of the strategy with the new branding.

It remains to be seen if all the toy manufacturers who used to rely on Toys R Us sales will rejoin the retailer, however.

Companies like Crayola and smaller toy retailers were not fully paid when Toys R Us liquidated its merchandise, losing a great deal of revenue.

On the other hand, major manufacturers like Hasbro and Mattel have seen a profit loss in recent months due to the loss of Toys R Us.

Executives are saying “nothing is off the table,” according to MSN Money.

Some ideas they are exploring are pop-up shops, forging relationships with other brick and mortar stores where Toys R Us toys would be sold exclusively, and even a partnership with Amazon.

Have we already filled the void created by losing Toys R Us, or are our own childhood memories enough to give them the boost they need to make it?

We will see how things unfold with “Tru Kids,” but one thing is certain:  Our attachment to the nostalgia of Toys R Us will only go so far.

And concerns remain over the fact that the original Toys R Us was a long-time corporate donor to left-wing organizations like Planned Parenthood that are obviously anti-Family.  Will the revamped company do the same?

Even under a new name, the toy giant will have to earn back the trust of consumers who want to be able to trust retailers and vendors who were left hanging without compensation.

Parents want deals and convenience, and it is hard to beat the prices of retail giants like Walmart and Amazon.

How do you feel about a possible comeback of Toys R Us?  What would the company need to do differently in order to win you back as a customer? Leave us your comments.



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