What took so long to revive, Toys ‘R’ Us?

(Credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(Credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

I don’t know about you but I’m thrilled that former executives from the now defunct Toys ‘R’ Us are staging a come-back.  My only question is what took so long? 

Take as recent as this past weekend, I was on a mission to find a Disney Princess Tiana dress XL (that a tween could squeeze into), long white gloves, and a Princess Tiana crown. And, yes Princess Tiana has her own crown.

It was a time crunch (as always).  I needed it by Monday.

All of these stores that have been vying for the “toy” business; and, every article I have read since the closing of Toys ‘R’ Us brags that the big guys Walmart, Amazon, etc. are slurping up the market share.  Well, I looked on AMAZON Prime $199 for a small adult dress – not happening.  Went to two different area Walmart stores to look for long white gloves and any crown at that point.  Neither store had them because I asked.  A sales associate informed me that they carry more of that type of merchandise around Halloween.  Okay, I get it.  It’s not Halloween.

I went to six different retail stores.

Couldn’t find any of the real stuff that I wanted except JC Penney’s had an entire merchandising area for Disney Princesses.  Exactly what I was looking for … just for toddlers.

The closest for my tween was the combination of Party City and Target.

I had to go from store to store and piece it all together which was beyond exhausting.  I complained loudly to my husband that this wouldn’t be a problem if Toys ‘R’ Us was still around.  What happened to it anyway?  That was a rhetorical question only.  Okay, I know the answer. 

So, I was thrilled when I read Toys R Us plots 2nd act with new look, new name.  Bring it on Richard Barry!  Here were some of my favorite things about Toys ‘R’ Us, it was always:

  • Halloween

  • Christmas

  • Birthdays

It wasn’t a seasonal toy store.  You could find any kind of toy and accessory regardless of the season (I mean maybe not a water sprinkler or baby pool) but you know what I’m talking about…

We love the brand, we love the company and I love the toy industry,” said Barry, CEO of Tru Kids Brands, a company formed earlier this year that owns the trademarks, brand and other assets of Toys R Us and sister store Babies R Us.

— Sarah Min, 2/12/2019, MoneyWatch

There is a void that Toys ‘R’ Us left in the marketplace that can’t be completely filled by the giant retail leaders or independent toy stores year-round.  I’m sure that I’m not the only one experiencing it; and, that’s why it makes perfect sense to me that Tru Kids Brands revival of Toys ‘R’ Us is already a winner.

So, while the name will be different it appears that it will be run by those who loved and respected the Toys ‘R’ Us brand.  When the Toys ‘R’ Us specialty retailer closed its founder Charles Lazerus died within days.  Toyrs 'R' Us founder Charles P. Lazerus dies after the chain says it's closing.  While I didn’t know Mr. Lazerus, I bet he’s asking the same question.  What took so long?


Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and the Founder of the eRetailer Summit and JC Event Group. Sonya has extensive experience in creating original innovative solutions to overcome major business challenges.  Sonya has spent most of her career visiting headquarters across global industries and has built strong business relationships across diverse brands. An expert in the field, Sonya has been published in numerous retail industry b-to-b publications.

Sonya has a M.B.A. in Marketing. She is married and has a daughter and they live in Fairfield County Connecticut.  

Follow Sonya on twitter at @jarvisconsult or @eretailersummit.  

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