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The only thing I took away from that story is that someone bought the TRU IP. I'm filing that in the 'nobody gives a crap' drawer.
Unless they totally changed the store approach and included something crazy like a bit bar w/ classic arcades, putt-putt (holes themed from major toy lines), sundae shop, educational classes, etc. More or less a reason for people to gather and experience toys together.
If they do the same thing, the best case scenario is short-term mild success, until Amazon eventually suffocates them again.
Neither of which means this will automatically be successful, of course. I agree that they need a different concept. Just being a big box store has been shown not to work anymore. I look forward to what they come up with.
This put them in the horrible position of playing catchup to the Amazon juggernaut.
We won't even go into how bad many of their stores were. Dirty, dark, warehouses with burned out employees and toy scalpers raising the isles while product was being stocked. I watched grown men shove kids aside to get at a freaking hot wheels car.
I loved TRU, like KayBee even more, at least that was clean. But unless the new management (which looks a lot like the old management) smartens up, they won't be around long this time either.
It was TRU's debt. It's not like there was a game of corporate musical chairs and TRU got saddled with some unanticipated random debtload.
I am sure there is room in the retail space for a national chain toy store, but unless consumers are willing to pay a premium for a brick-and-mortar experience, we' be stuck with what we got.
I remember Dell and Gateway computer stores years ago. Going out of business... yet Apple Stores are wildly successful. (And LEGO Stores as well...)
It's quite a common thing in large corporate buy-outs. It's usually just a paperwork exercise allowing the new owners to reduce tax payments across their business empires.
Vulture capitalism at its finest.
Brilliant idea! Let's get the Lego Stores out of malls. However, I don't see this happening due to the model working for them this long. I would much prefer to visit one in an outdoor marketplace or even a stand alone building.
(Also one of the risks of being a publicly traded entity.)
It is strange from a UK perspective to hear the doom and gloom over the demise of TRU. Don't get me wrong, I have fond memories of trips to TRU when I was a kid, but they were an absolute dinosaur and in the UK between The Entertainer running high street toy shops and Smyths usurping the TRU model but moving it with the times I feel no real loss over the demise of TRU.
My nearest large toy store as a kid was a Jolly Giant!! And that was still a 20 minute drive so I didn't go there very often either.
Incidentally, it was later replaced by a TRU (almost, it was a few stores down) which I visited a few times as an adult; mainly to pick up exclusive stuff like the Batman Movie Bricktober set and once just before it closed.
For whatever reason they went belly up, I'll be glad to see them make a comeback. I for one don't want to have no other shopping option than Amazon and Ebay.
Also Toys R Us is part of LEGO set history. Many sets were only available as Toys R Us LEGO exclusives. From 1991 to 2017 there were 54 LEGO sets that were Toys R Us exclusives.
No wait... that including 11 of those crappy minifig exclusive sets... feh! Nevermind... let them stay under.... ;-)
Over-leveraging was the primary cause of their demise. I always thought TRU would have made a nice subsidiary of Amazon. But the name isn't worth the collateral responsibilities.