It’s been pretty hard to avoid on social media or on sites covering the latest retail news. There’s usually a grandiose shot of an empty Toys “R” Us parking lot that includes a young child in tears or heaving with angst, which is the resulting aftermath of parents giving their kids the news that their favorite toy store is no more.
What Does the Death of Toys “R” Us Mean?
While the youth of America are distraught and in tears, there’s a quiet celebration going on behind closed doors. With Toys “R” Us sales reaching $6.5 billion in 2017, the savviest of retailers, distributors and eCommerce behemoths are strategizing on how to get in the toy game.
In fact, Amazon is executing already with their plans to direct mail a catalog to American households and oddly enough, push to its recent retail acquisition — Whole Foods. Somewhat ironic the digital giant is going back to such an archaic form to reach a new customer base, but executives likely understand the power of print.
Even though Toys “R” Us had more than 800 stores throughout the US to make toy shopping easy and fun for parents and kids alike, they printed a sizeable annual catalog they called “The Big Book” for years because they recognized the power of print.
Toys "R" Us' "Big Book" and other catalog favorites were purposefully hefty because no matter what time of year they came out, they had the staying power to last until your birthday or the holidays. Kids signaled their wishes to their parents or loved ones by dog-earing pages and circling the toys of their dreams.
Also, catalogs make great entertainment when indisposed in the bathroom or when you're smartphone is charging.
Amazon is Already in the Toy Game
Love of catalogs is likely why Amazon plans to pick up where Toys "R" Us left off by printing their a toy catalog that will be mailed to millions of American households to fill that catalog gap we've all been missing.
National general merchandisers like Target and WalMart are reportedly already looking to expand their reach into toys to get their share of the Toys “R” Us fallout. A Target spokesperson said the retail chain plans to expand the number of toy SKUs this upcoming holiday season.
It’s also been reported that Party City plans to set up 50 pop-up toy shops throughout the US in the now abandoned Toys “R” Us stores, according to Bloomberg.
How B2B and B2C eCommerce Companies Can Board the Toy Train
If you've got drop shipping down and you're already selling on major marketplaces like Amazon or Walmart, this is clearly a great time to add toys to the mix. In preparation for the holidays, be sure to research keywords, paid campaign strategies and how to handle the holiday rush.
For B2B wholesale distributors, now is the time seek out relationships with toy manufacturers so that you're ready in time for the holiday season. Once your ready, get the word out to your customers via email that you plan to carry a broader range of toy products.
Check out 7 lessons the toy industry can learn from Toys"R"Us in our previous blog.
Image Source: Huffington Post