Not too long ago we had a blog about Nokia and the dangers of resting on your laurels when it comes to your business, keeping up with a world speeding onward seemingly on fast forward. This year, another company is falling prey to not keeping up with the world and their customers – Toys ‘R’ Us.
Ask anyone over the age of 25 about Toys ‘R’ Us and every single one of them, no matter how rich or poor, will sing for you the jingle. Toys ‘R’ US Jingle was so ingrained in their childhood that it might as well have been the theme song of the 80s and early 90s. They were all “Toys ‘R’ Us Kids”, but those same Toys ‘R’ Us Kids are now turning away from the ultimate toy store and the company has been forced to file a form of bankruptcy in order to keep their doors open, and the reason is simple.
Toys ‘R’ Us has ignored the technology and business practices, old and new, that their former customers are embracing in their busy everyday lives.
Toys ‘R’ Us has never been the most cost-effective place to buy things for children, it did, however, have the widest selection possible, including items that could be found nowhere else in the world thanks to their widespread use of vendor exclusives and importing, as well as catering heavily to collectors markets such as Barbie and Hot Wheels.
While the new parents turning heavily to online stores to do their holiday and birthday shopping in order to accommodate the busy lives and full-time work schedules, Toys ‘R’ Us has only the most basic online presence, instead of creating an online experience to complement or even rival their brick and mortar stores. Unlike the stores that inflamed the imagination and were the basis of every Dear Santa letter for decades, the website that is no different than Walmart or Amazon lacks any kind of imagination and is decidedly not kid friendly.
Ex Toys ‘R’ Us Kids are also turning their backs on the very idea of a big box store, instead favoring the intimate feel of a local mom and pop toy store. Getting to know the owner and staff personally, being able to ask a question and get the real one on one attention, and their children getting to play with actual toys, listen to book readings, or watch puppet shows are all things busy parents are willing to take some time out of their day to enjoy with their kids. None of these things are offered at Toys ‘R’ Us.
Once again, a company on top of the world learns the hard lesson of not keeping up with the trends of today or creating the trends of tomorrow. By insisting that their huge stores would always be good enough, Toys ‘R’ Us has forced themselves into a corner from which their choices are innovating quickly or fail completely.
Every company can learn these lessons from both Nokia and Toys ‘R’ Us. The future is no longer secured by building more stores alone, as it was in decades past. The future is now found in creative innovation and online technology as well as unique consumer-centric experiences.
About Tantam Health: Tantam Health specializes in on-site and near-site clinics for employers. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at tantamhealth.com