Back in March Toys R Us announced they were liquidating all of it's US stores. As of June 30th, all stores were gutted out and closed. However a few weeks ago Toys R Us canceled its bankruptcy auction to plan a comeback. I am all for this, however, I have a few ideas that may improve the brand. Here are Five ways I would do a comeback of Toys R Us.
1. Rehire all employees at the time of closing, or offer them a severance package.
Toys R Us is getting a lot of heat right now for negating on their promises of a severance package. If I was in charge of the brand I would give 2 options. The first is to have their job back and be retrained to the new store format, or take a severance package. The final decision would then be up to the employee. This would depend on the last performance review the employees had before the stores closed.
2. Add more electronics such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, and video game consoles.
The old Toys R Us offered video game systems from the Intellivision to the Nintendo Switch. I would take it one step farther and offer Smartphones (Prepaid and contract), Tablets, Chromebooks and smaller laptops, digital movie downloads, and an expanded video game and accessories area. I know it's called Toys R Us, but you can't cater to just kids if the brand is reinvented.
3. Add a $1-$5 toy, snacks, and crafts section similar to Five Below or Target.
Stores like Five Below and Target are expanding in the US because they tend to cater more to millennial tastes and offer cheap but good products. Adding a section like this would water down the reputation Toys R Us had for having higher priced products than competitors. Plus it may be a good incentive for parents to use to bargain with a child to behave.
4. Create an all-new Geek/ Nerd Department.
This for sure would create a new fanbase for Toys R Us. Funko Pops would be a huge hit. Pop Culture nostalgia T-shirts and collectibles like Old School Nickelodeon, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pokemon, WWE, Old school video games etc... would be in this area. It would be a larger area for this fanbase than say GameStop, Hot Topic or Spencer's. A bigger selection of trading cards and adult role-playing (nonsexual) games would also highlight this new department.
5. A Candy Store within a store.
Toys R Us did offer candy in its heyday too. However, the new Toys R Us would have several varieties of candies from International favorites, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Halal, and kosher as well as favorites you grew up and loved.
Other Ideas I would do:
Develop an in-store app where the customer has the option to scan and pay from their mobile device without going through a register.
Online ordering with the option of delivery or in-store pickup. Similar to the way Walmart and Lowe's does pickup now.
Bring back the Kids R Us and Babies R Us stores as well.
A costume and party goods section. Party City announced they are soon going to open a spin-off business for toys called Toy City. Wouldn't it be something for Toys R Us to do vice versa with a party goods department?
Adapt mobile payments and PayPal as a way to pay in-store
Add an expanded Lego department.
These are just my ideas, what ideas would you have to revive the Toys R Us brand to adapt to todays children and the kids of yesterday? What do you think of my ideas? Do I have good ideas, or would you change things? Let me know below!