Toys "R" Us Founder Charles P. Lazarus Passes Away
And My Thoughts on Toys 'R' Us
Wow, it's actually happening. Toys "R" Us is closing its doors. I was in denial for the longest time. So I suppose this is now my five stages of grieving for the toy distributor. It's only when I spoke with my friend the other day did I realize this might actually happen. Even now as I write this, I am shocked that a giant that massive will be closing. So many people grew up with Toys "R" Us, having seen the big stores or the commercials about the latest toys. They had it all; Nerf toys, Yugioh cards, EVERYTHING! And now when I pass by the massive building, only a shallow grave of its former glory.
This had me thinking about why Toys “R” Us, or more specifically why I didn’t go there to begin with. I grew up knowing the store and how they always had the best toys. Unfortunately, my family never went there as we didn’t have much money to spend on toys or cards. It always seemed so expensive; so close, yet so far away as we didn’t have the money. And I feel as that had a role when compared to shopping at other stores. Not the sole reason, I’m sure places like Walmart and the rise of the internet played a bigger role in closing of a toy giant.
Now in the age of the internet where toys are not only cheaper, but being delivered to your house has become the standard. No longer are the eras of shopping in aisles for toys at big retailers for your wants. To me, that convenience and near infinite inventory of things to buy has made it almost impossible for Toys “R” Us to recover. Sure they made a massive deal with Amazon to exclusively sell their toys as another middle man; but poor oversight in selling their products helped lead to its current collapse. Maybe had they undersold their competitors, such as Target and Walmart, they could have seen the rise in distribution centers and less retail stores. Unfortunate as it is, here we are today.
On the subject from earlier; corporations like Walmart had a major influence in crippling Toys “R” Us. Let’s not kid ourselves; Walmart has the best prices of anywhere in retail. These prices are something you simply cannot beat on a commercial level, which is how they hit Toys “R” Us and hard. Between an Amazon deal gone sour and Walmart hitting them on the retail front, it's amazing Toys “R” Us lasted as long as it did. Maybe that was the situation; they were losing for such a long time that they kept being hit all the time by major retailers that eventually they stood no chance. Places like Best Buy are replacing Toys “R” Us, we live in such an advanced stage of technology.
Quite possibly the next Toys “R” Us to come up with is Best Buy. I remember growing up with action figures (not dolls) and having a blast imagining whole worlds for these action figures to assemble. Then as technology advanced, I wanted that. No longer are the days of the consumer being interested in toys, rather technology of the future. The new Galaxy phone, the iPhone, the latest graphics cards. Why buy a Nerf gun when you can pay for the newest 'Call of Duty' game. I suppose there is a new trend, where we were encouraged to share our toys amongst others. Now we have private property to use as a medium for social experience. The brave new world we live in.
Whatever the case maybe. The game is over, and so is an era of toys. Toys “R” Us had a great run while it was ahead. But now time marches forward, so must our interests and money. Hopefully a lesson on how to better prepare for businesses in the near future is learned, however far that may be. Possibly closer than we may like to think about. I suppose I went through the five stages of grief in this article.
Quick update: the founder of Toys "R" Us Charles P. Lazarus has passed away today, my condolences.