marketing

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.  

Please follow the eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.

 


When was the last time you felt "welcomed home"?

When was the last time you felt “welcomed home” by a brand?

Ralphie and Snuggels back home and getting ready for a bath!

Ralphie and Snuggels back home and getting ready for a bath!

In the winter we took a trip that wasn’t for pleasure but was necessary. Both Snuggles (a small pink bear) and Ralphie (a small brown bear) have been traveling with us since our daughter was a baby.  We once lost Ralphie at a Disney hotel. He got tangled up in the bed sheets when the maid cleaned the room. Lucky for us, we realized that he was missing and immediately alerted the lost and found at the hotel; and, once we identified him we got him back. We escaped a bad outcome. 

Well for this winter trip, we stayed in two different hotels over a short four day period. It was a memorial and burial for my Mom. So, we weren’t as sharp as we normally are due to the circumstances. 

This was mid-February. 

Fast forward to April we realized that Snuggles and Ralphie were missing. 

I called the last hotel we stayed at near the Charlotte airport and they informed me that they only keep lost and found items for 30 days but they would take a look around and get back to me if they found something.  I chalked that up to lost cause. 

I then called the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Hickory, NC where we stayed first. I should mention that this is the same hotel that I stayed at for my monthly visits down to see my mother when she was ill. On our last visit, there was a sympathy card in our room signed by the entire staff.  

I was informed that housekeeping would get back to me. 

They did. 

Not only did the head of housekeeping call me. She was holding both Snuggles and Ralphie and giving me a full description of each. 

This was great news!  They found the bears and kept them!  Now to get them home. 

I worked with the front desk to ship them out via UPS to our home. Both arrived unharmed the following week. And, my daughter was happy to welcome them home. 

This hotel property didn’t disappoint me. They have always showed exemplary customer service by learning my name, my sibling names that stayed there from out of town, greeting us and always ensuring that all of our requests were met.  

In the day where every company claims that they deliver excellence in customer service there are few who truly execute well. Here’s what the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Hickory, NC delivered to me and my family for over a year in customer service; they:

·         Made it Personal - from the Front Desk to the Breakfast Waitress they made it a point to not only greet us but get to know us. 

·         Cared – they felt our pain every month as we visited our sick Mother. Always giving us a word of encouragement. 

·         Listened - they couldn’t make it personal or care without listening to us. (Really listening). 

·         Followed Up - they did what they said they would do. The housekeeper followed up; the front desk shipped the bears. 

Many brands talk about customer service but how many of us deliver a high level of service on a consistent basis throughout every level of the company?  

It took welcoming Snuggles and Ralphie home to remind me that this hotel made me feel welcomed each month I stepped through their lobby doors.  What are you doing to make your customers feel like they are being welcomed every time they come back?

 

Sonya Ruff Jarvis, is the Managing Member of Jarvis Consultants and Founder of the eRetailer Summit. 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. 

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

Please follow the new eRetailer Summit showcase page on LinkedIn here.