It has been recently reported by multiple sources that both the United States and Canadian branches of the long-beloved “Toy’s R Us” company has filed for bankruptcy protection. This is not the same as filing for full bankruptcy in that this is a prerequisite step that allows the company to continue to operate while it restructures itself in order to pay back or pay down its debts. This filing could possibly effect almost 1,600 stores and around 64,000 employees if they are unable to find a feasible means to restructure both their brand and sales tactics.
Current and consistent enhancements in technology have caused this and other traditional retailers to struggle to keep up, in that most of these older rooted companies aren’t working with foundations in technology such as companies like Amazon, who has been one of TRU’s leading rivals in the US toy market. As most of us are guilty of and have actually grown to prefer the option of being able to shop online for our purchases of all kinds, due to the increased convenience of shopping through the internet instead of in actual physical stores. While there was once a time when, if people wanted to shop and find the best deals and bargains, it would require either travelling from store to store causing us to use precious gas and time in the process, we are now able to just simply open several tabs/windows in order to gain side by side comparisons for the price of the items we are looking for. Sometimes, there isn’t even the need to check multiple sources, in that some sites actually provide the item prices of their competitors, and other sites are actually simply the middleman that provides instant results when the query of “Lowest price” is presented.
The combination of variety, as well as convenience of shopping purely from home, has caused companies like TRU, Wet Seal, and The Limited to file for bankruptcy protection as a means to stay afloat during these turbulent times. Sears and Macy’s are another two of the long-standing staples in the retail industry that have also been noticing a sales decline, which is primarily what lead to Sears’ announcement of the closing of over 100 stores in January. As of right now the United States and Canadian markets of Toys R US are the only branches currently filing as the markets in European, Asian, and Australian branches will not be affected by the end result. Toy’s R Us reached its peak in the year 2012 at a worth of $13.9 Billion, which is more than what could have ever been projected in 1948 when the company first began as a baby furniture company by Mr. Charles Lazarus. I, for one, hope that Toys R Us is able to use this restructuring period to regain ground in their industry, but I think that is mostly due to the nostalgia that comes along with the Toys R Us brand as a whole because I too am a victim of convenience and have fallen guilty of shopping online for a wide number of products instead of shopping the traditional way, however there is still a small part of me that will always hold a special place in my heart and memories for Toys R Us, so whatever the future holds for the company their legacy will live on for the millions of adults and children alike that grew up wanting to in fact be, “Toys R Us Kids”.