Toys “R” Us: The big box store is still ailing

Here’s a recent post from RetailWire about Toys “R” Us, following the release of its (disappointing) holiday sales. The question is whether this is symptomatic of big box stores generally, or issues unique to TRU. Here’s my point of view:

The struggles at Toys “R” Us point out that the big box store concept is not out of the woods yet. (Best Buy’s improving numbers are the exception to the rule.) Many of the “transformational” steps being taken at TRU strike me as “Retail 101”: Managing pricing, costs, inventory and the in-store experience are all fundamental to any successful retailer.

If Toys “R” Us gets these basics right, it is still facing some significant headwinds. The competition isn’t getting any easier, from Amazon to Target, who made toys the centerpiece of its holiday campaign this year. Meanwhile, sales continue to migrate to e-commerce and omnichannel retailers while TRU deals with too many brick-and-mortar locations.


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