Author Topic: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread  (Read 14354 times)

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Offline Jamaican Mario Scholar

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et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« on: September 18, 2017, 10:55:13 AM »
Toys R Us could file for bankruptcy this week

http://www.businessinsider.com/toys-r-us-could-file-for-bankruptcy-this-week-reports-2017-9


I had no idea they were in trouble.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2018, 11:22:34 PM by Wino »

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 12:26:40 PM »
I was thinking of making a thread like this about the recent retail apocalypse that seems to be occurring of late. I was talking with some people at work about this a week or two ago when the news was first being reported. I had no idea that Toys R Us was in rough shape either until I saw that news.

I don't know what things are like in the states but in Canada we've seen a retail chain called Zellers get bought out by Target who then opened branches of their stores in the previous Zeller locations only to fold up in a couple years and pull out of Canada. We had an electronics chain called Future Shop that was owned by Best Buy. A couple years ago, all Future Shops were immediately shut down one day out of the blue and only Best Buy locations remain. Earlier this year, HMV went bankrupt and shut down. That one hurt as I still liked to go to their stores and browse through the music. I still buy CDs myself but I guess I seem to be one of the last holdouts still doing that. Sears appears to be in trouble and is shutting down a bunch of locations. Toys R Us in now in this financial crisis. I'm wondering if there is something else I'm forgetting. I feel there is but can't think of it.

My thinking for a thread like this was "Retail Getting Hit Hard Lately" like the famous Sony thread we had during the initial Wii years but never got around to making it. Good job beating me to Invincible DK.

Offline Ian Sane

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 01:48:59 PM »
Seeing this happen to retail just seems so odd because it's like a different world is causing it.  I always go to stores to buy things.  I have to commute to work anyway and it's all just a quick stop on the way home.  I buy things online that I can't find in local stores, essentially the same sorts of things that historically I would order from a catalog or I would have to ask the store to bring in for me.  Isn't that mentality how Amazon got started?  In the old days bookstores were a common store for which you would ask if the store could order in some semi-obscure product that they weren't carrying and Amazon took that idea to an online book store (for any young people reading this: did you know Amazon.com was strictly an online book store at first?)  I don't know anyone who doesn't frequent brick and mortar stores.  My friends and family have the same habits that I do and it isn't like when I go to a store it's a barren wasteland with no customers.

But aside from a few co-workers I pretty much never associate with anyone under the age of 30 ever.  So the best I can figure is that the younger generation, particularly those raised entirely in the internet age (I was already in high school when I found out the internet even existed), are not going to retail stores with the same frequency as earlier generations and that's killing things off.

Though I find buying online to have some annoyances that seem idiotic to put up with when there's an alternative.  You have to wait for the item to arrive which seems like a stupid thing to put up with if I can literally drive five minutes to the store and get the item right NOW.  You have to pay for shipping so that adds an extra cost to everything.  Okay driving has a cost too but if I incorporate with driving I'm doing already then it adds virtually no cost at all.  You also still have to go out to either buy groceries or eat at a restaurant so it's not like you never leave home, unless you just order delivery all the time.

Now something like HMV I can see because buying media digitally is very convenient and there is no shipping cost or transit time.  It's more of an instant gratification than driving to a store.  But Toys 'R' Us sells physical TOYS.  You can't digitally download a toy so now you're dealing with shipping issues again.

Here's another potential generation gap thing.  When I was a kid I loved browsing toy stores like Toys 'R' Us.  Do kids today find that fun?  Or do they just look at pictures and videos of toys online and wouldn't be impressed or interested in a store lined up with toys as far as the eye can see?  I don't have kids or any nieces or nephews so I'm rather clueless as to what kids today like doing.

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2017, 02:38:30 PM »
Waiting for shipping and paying for shipping are much smaller concerns with Amazon. A Prime membership adds up to about $10 a month and in addition to free 2-day shipping on everything they sell it includes huge libraries of streaming video, music, and ebooks. It's a spectacular value when you factor everything in, and most of the time waiting 2 days is nothing.
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Offline Jamaican Mario Scholar

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 02:58:49 PM »
Well that's Canada for ya. What else is there to do up there besides shop?

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 03:21:23 PM »
Well that's Canada for ya. What else is there to do up there besides shop?

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Offline ShyGuy

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 08:08:27 PM »
The death of retail irritates me. I hope the consequence is it destroys the Millennials. The Internet collapses in 2030 and then I sit back and laugh and laugh...

Offline BranDonk Kong

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 08:38:10 PM »
This really sucks, but maybe I'll be able to get some sweet deals when the local one closes. Toys R Us has, by far, the best action figure (Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black Series, etc.) selection around. My kids love going there too. It's where I got my SNES and GameBoy...makes me sad.

Offline lolmonade

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 07:32:03 AM »
Apparently Toys R' Us thinks what'll save them is garbage AR games in-store that parents will have to bring their kids with their phones or tablets to play with.


I look forward to Toys R' Us turning into budget Chuck E Cheese, and the eventual closure shortly afterwards...



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Offline nickmitch

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 02:40:58 PM »
One thing about Toys R Us to remember is that Amazon and Tablets aren't killing it directly.  A few years back, TRU was bought out by a couple of venture capital firms that loaded it with debt.  At the time, TRU was doing great and had pretty high earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation/amortization.  That was originally supposed to to pay for the debt in a number of years, assuming it held.  Unfortunately, it didn't hold.  So, while TRU's earnings (EBITDA) were still respectable ($792M, $800M past two years), they weren't high enough to manage the debt the company was loaded with.
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Offline ThePerm

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 03:50:51 PM »
Think about this: Do you ever go into any retail store M-F? They're empty!

Saturday and Sunday they're packed. Why does this happen?

Most people work M-F and don't have time to shop except on the weekends.

If I was one of those big box models I'd reconsider business conformity.

Maybe change business hours from 9am to 9pm to 2 pm to 2 am except on weekends. Some places they should build a smaller store in the larger store.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 03:57:36 PM by ThePerm »
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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 07:34:04 PM »
Perm, I've always wondered why dry cleaners don't take this approach.

I think one of the obvious reasons is that it would be hard to find people to work those shifts. You get off work and the only things open are dive bars and Taco Bell.
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Offline ThePerm

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2017, 01:31:16 AM »
It depends on when you wake up. I've done the mid shift a few times. I hate getting up early,  I'm a nite owl and usually have worked those hours. I'm not a fan of sunlight. If you wake up early you can get the best of both worlds. I tend to go straight to work so yeah dive bars and Taco Bell. Most Wal-marts are 24/7 unlike most all of their competitors. I used to get annoyed in K-mart when it was 7pm and they shew you away from the electronics section because they closed it 1 or 2 hours before they closed the rest of the store. That place is going out of business soon too(and Sears). They should have never bought Sears. Every time I go into a K-mart I think it looks like the stupidest ran place. Liquor right next to the door. Last time I went to the bathroom there, there was a turd that was gigantic. Biggest turd I ever saw. It was wide and pretty long. Like a little bigger than a Monster BFC. I had my camera with me. I took a picture.

I'm not saying all business should do this. It would just be better if business took shifts like people do. I think some other countries take this approach.
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Offline Jamaican Mario Scholar

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2018, 11:09:11 AM »
Toys R Us plans to close up to 182 stores (1/5 of all stores) as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Store list here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/01/24/see-if-your-toys-r-us-store-closure-list/1060761001/

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2018, 11:39:11 AM »
That's a bummer. :(
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Offline Khushrenada

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2018, 10:56:26 PM »
Toys R Us plans to close up to 182 stores (1/5 of all stores) as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan.

Store list here: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/01/24/see-if-your-toys-r-us-store-closure-list/1060761001/

Not just 1/5 of its stores. All of it's stores. Boom!

Offline Khushrenada

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2018, 11:01:07 PM »
Also, a good chance Barnes & Noble will be next on the chopping block. Informative read here of the warning signs and a strongly reasoned argument of why a lot of this retail collapse shouldn't be necessary. (Although, like most things, it boils down to the fatcats at the top.)

Offline Adrock

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2018, 05:59:08 AM »
Toys R Us was my very first job so it’ll always have a soft spot for me. Granted, I was being paid minimum wage, but it was a perfectly fine summer job. Even after I left and mostly didn’t recognize anyone, people were still very nice when I stopped in for a Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale or an Amiibo I couldn’t find anywhere else.

Still, I suppose I’m part of the problem. I signed up for Amazon Prime back in 2014 which changed how I shop entirely. There are very few instances when I need something right away and 99 times out of 100, it’s cheaper online. Just a couple months ago, my primary doctor recommended Flonase. Later, I was in Target already for an unrelated reason, checked Flonase online, saw the price difference then just waited two days. There are also plenty of better items online that aren’t available at brick and mortar stores.

I don’t particularly enjoy the process of going to a store, browsing for things, then waiting in line to checkout (including self-checkout). The only exceptions are groceries and most clothes. The latter is a relatively rare occurrence as I don’t enjoy clothes shopping and only buy them out of necessity (e.g. holes, aging out of wearing Aeropostale apparel I bought in my teenage years). There are apparently laws against public nudity. Who knew?

Offline lolmonade

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2018, 06:07:04 AM »
I walked into my Toys R' Us yesterday, and was informed that the liquidation was postponed due to some court issues with the creditors.  Guess I'll have to wait another day or two to see if there'll be any worthy deals on kids bikes.


I think anyone looking for deals is going to have to be patient and persistent with visiting their local store.  The employees are as left in the dark as we are about all this, so also be kind/patient.  These aren't the best places to work, but they are losing their jobs.
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Offline Ian Sane

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2018, 09:13:20 AM »
So in Canada it's apparently all business as usual for now for Toys 'R' Us.  News reports say that the Canada branch is profitable, did big business as usual at Christmas, and is hoping to sell to someone else.  Considering every Toys 'R' Us I ever go into seems to have a steady flow of customers I found it odd that the franchise was in trouble but different countries have different buying habits.  Here in Canada a new toy store chain called Mastermind Toys has been expanding recently so toy retail must be doing okay around here.  How weird would it be if Toys 'R' Us becomes strictly a Canadian-only thing?

Though if online shopping is partially to blame then brick-and-mortar stores doing well in Canada may just be a delay of what's happening in the States.  Online services in Canada are usually a bit behind the US (usually since America is a much larger market and most of the innovation is being done there first) so it might just be that we're shopping at physical stores because it's a lot easier than online shopping.  We didn't always have an Amazon.ca for example and the selection on .ca isn't as full as .com.  To get everything we want online usually means we need to get some stuff shipped from the US which means delays at customs, duty charges and higher shipping costs.  An American meanwhile will typically have no need to order anything from outside their own country unless they're really into anime or something like that.

Offline lolmonade

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2018, 10:10:31 AM »
Ian Sane, I can only speak for my experience, BUT


My local toys r us was almost always vacant EXCEPT during Christmas.  The building inside-and-out is an absolute dump.  The things in there were commonly 20%+ more expensive than other retailers (one time I price compared a kids toy for my nephew and it was TWICE the price as target or wal-mart). 


The differentiation for TRU should have been 1) selection/variety, 2) Immediacy of being able to walk-in/walk-out with a toy if you're in a pinch, and 3) a superior shopping experience compared to buying online or from the targets/walmarts/kmarts of the word.  But the selection isn't enough now that most of the things there can be found online for cheaper, most things there were often cheaper even if you had to pay Amazon for next-day shipping,


And while I don't like ragging on retail employees, my local store is like a Wal-mart in that there'll be two people at the register, and literally no-one else around the store to help people.  And those people at the register are either clueless or lifeless if you try to interact with them.  On top of that, it's not an experience to go into one of them here like it was when I was a kid.  When I was a kid, they'd have open displays of toys, legos, trainsets they were promoting for you to try-out and play with.  They'd have video game systems set up in demo displays to hook you in and make you want to walk out the door with the game you played.  It was part playground that sold you as a kid of wanting to go there, spend time having the fun, and walking out with something.  Without that, it loses its one last leg-up against the online retailers of the world.
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Offline nickmitch

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2018, 12:38:27 PM »
I knew I had looked up TRU's earnings at some point when all this news was breaking.

The rhetoric I've been seeing on social media is predominantly focused on "kids wanting tablets" or something similar.  But $800M in earnings is crazy for a company that's now going out of business.
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Offline Ian Sane

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2018, 03:55:25 PM »
If the issue was kids not liking toys anymore than I figure toy manufacturers like Mattel or Lego would be going out of business as well.

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2018, 04:20:56 PM »
46% of US households have an Amazon Prime account. 44% of all online retail sales are through Amazon.

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/27/investing/cyber-monday-online-retail-stocks-amazon-walmart/index.html

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Re: et tu, Toys R Us? Retail getting hit pretty hard lately thread
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2018, 05:43:39 PM »
I don't know if it's been mentioned (too lazy read thread) but I heard the real factor in to this BK and closure has to do with the previous Corporate Buyout that saddled TRU with TONS of debt... so much that their meager profits couldn't cover them, and now TRU get to take that debt to the grave with it.

But some Execs prob got a big bonus for sweeping that debt under Geoffrey's rug and calling it a day.