Toys ‘R’ Us Tries Bold Experiment In Actually Stocking Toys

Shoppers visit a store called Toys ‘R’ Us because they’re looking for toys, and because they want those toys immediately. Otherwise, wouldn’t they shop online? Yet for the last few years, Toys ‘R’ Us has considered an item “in stock” if they have only three on the shelf, losing out on sales when they didn’t have items that shoppers wanted.

This holiday season, with a new CEO, they’re reconsidering that strategy, using software to analyze sales and figure out when shelves should be replenished. “If a customer can’t find what they’re looking for at your store 60% of the time, they will shop somewhere else and never come back,” the company’s new head giraffe, David Brandon, told the Wall Street Journal.

The problem, of course, is that retailers have to strike the right balance between being under-stocked and losing pre-holiday sales, and being over-stocked and spending January marking down toys to get them out the door at a discount. That cuts into profits.

While Walmart might be right down the strip mall from Toys ‘R’ Us, they have two disadvantages in this game: they tend to stock fewer of some items, and they aren’t always hyper-focused on toys, because they sell everything else.

Struggling Toys ‘R’ Us Tries Fuller Stores [Wall Street Journal]

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