Did The Shoppers Cause The Demise Of Toys R Us? Recently The Deseret News published an article about how disappointed shoppers were that Toys R Us is shutting it’s stores down. Some cited how much of a family affair it was to peruse the store and how much the kids enjoyed the visit, as well as the parents.
Part of my wife Kathleen’s career was at high end furniture stores. These stores would provide free design service as a service to obtain business for her and the store. Kathleen was know as an amazing designer, winning many competitive awards and having some of her work published in magazines. One great job was when the number 5 person in the Russian government decided to have a home in Bellevue, Washington just in case he needed a landing place in the possibility of a hostile government take over. It had to be completely turn key, including two Lexus’s in the garage. Another was in a competition similar to Utah’s Parade of Homes. There it was called The Street of Dreams. All of the show homes being in the same development. Kathleen did six years of Street of Dreams, each winning multiple design awards. My favorite of these shows was a mansion that she filled with expensive art. It turned out to be a show stopper. The fun part of this story is that on the very first day of show a woman showed up and made an offer to purchase it, complete with every piece of furniture and accessories. What a sale this was to be. The lady returned daily, had the builder pick her up at the hotel and bring her to see her new prize. Oh, and prize it was to be. You see, the lady had been sent a notice that she was a winner in the Publishers Clearing House. It turned out that she couldn’t even pay her hotel bill.
As successful as Kathleen was it had it’s moments of disappointment.
One such moment was when she served Seattle football star, Kenny Easley, with a complete home plan, detailing his entire new mansion with a magazine quality home. She spent hours with Kenny and his wife, but the order never came. She had spent so much time with him that she decided to understand what had happened. Maybe you can guess what happened – he purchased the entire plan online. “Everyone does it was his excuse”.
Is this what caused the demise of Toys R Us, shoppers window shopping to pick out their favorite and then saving a few bucks online? I am guessing yes.