Toys ‘R’ Us Can’t Beat Discounters On Price, Invites Everyone Over For Play Dates

Image courtesy of Nicholas DiMaio

Toys ‘R’ Us has a problem: they’re a specialty store that people love, but they must compete with mega-discounters like Walmart and online vendors like Amazon on price. When they can’t do that and still make money, how are they to survive? The company’s new idea: get kids in the door by creating an experience, not just a place to buy toys.

The company has been working on a turnaround for the last ten years or so, and Head Giraffe and CEO (not his actual title) Antonio Urcelay explained to Bloomberg that the company wants to make sure that families see it as a specialist in stuff to play with. They’re planning a prototype store that will feature large play spaces for kids, and demonstration units for technology for them to play with.

Will selling itself as an indoor playground of sorts work? Will getting people in the door mean selling them some toys? What Urcelay knows is that the company is improving its sales numbers even though they aren’t offering as many deep discounts as they used to. Stores will still match prices offered elsewhere, but they know that they aren’t able to compete with Walmart on price. Instead, they aim to train employees better, arm them with more product knowledge, and make the stores into something different that general retailers can’t compete with.

Toys ‘R’ Us Seeking to Ward Off Discounters by Adding Play Space [Bloomberg]