Sadly, a store which was once one of the biggest players in the worldwide toy industry, has announced they are going in to administration this week – Toys R Us.
The company announced that after failing to find a buyer and meet a £15m tax bill, the store will now enter an ‘orderly wind down’ which will see the closure of 105 UK stores.
It would seem that in our ever changing world, the younger generation no longer have an interest in toys, the global expansion of the popularity of technology has hurt the company and sent it straight to troubled waters.
But is this something that Toys R Us could have prevented if they’d have seen it coming, is this the perfect exemplar as to why businesses need to be able to keep up with changing times if they wish to thrive, or even survive?
If Toys R Us could have been a stockist of common technological wants amongst kids; iPads, tablets etc. then perhaps they could have salvaged some of their business and generated enough income to climb out of their reccesions. But to put it frankly, with so many global stockists of such products, was there really any place for another?
It is of course, important to hone in on your USP, but when there is no longer a desire for your USP then it may be time to change your business strategies if you are wanting to survive. Toys R Us attempted this partially by stocking child friendly electronic equipment, however with Apple products being top of children’s Christmas lists since 2010, it was always going to be a hard market to break.
Frankly, most sale-orientated businesses (unless they are selling necessary consumables) will always be faced with the ever ongoing battle of needing to change with the times in order to keep your business afloat, as the chances are, what was popular even just a decade ago will no longer be a desirable (or not so much at least.)
Take for example the Blackberry, a once highly sought after phone that simply could not match its major competitor’s latest advances with the iPhone and its upgrades; what once was a high thriving organisation was left bewildered in the dust following the launches of new Apple products – unfortunately, that’s just how the business world works.
In my personal PR/business opinion, administration was always inevitable for Toys R Us as the sad truth is that toys no longer hold the appeal that they once did and thus sales have declined dramatically. With Apple and similar technology companies bouncing from strength to strength, a successful future for them is almost certain and it doesn’t seem as though children will be reverting to traditional ways any time soon. It’s a sad truth but undoubted that the next 5-10 years will see the same sort of fate thrust upon similar toy stores, unless of course they can switch up their business regimes to meet current consumer demands.
The lesson? In a world that never slows, you need to be able to ensure your business functions can keep up. It’s a sad moment when one of the key memories of your childhood meets such a demoralizing end, however it was always going to be inevitable – the world just isn’t what it was 10/20 years ago.