Toys R Us is going out of business in 2018.
The mighty giraffe lead company announced last week that it would shut down every Toys R us Store over the next few weeks.
Unbelievable. I can still remember every single word to the Toys R Us commercial… (sing along)
“I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R Us Kid. There’s a million toys at Toys R Us that I can play with. From bikes to trains to video games, it’s the biggest toy store there is. I don’t wanna grow up, cause if I did, I wouldn’t be a Toys R us kid!”
How could Toys R Us fail?
I mean, kids always need toys, right? Parents would always take their kids to Toys R Us, right? How could they fail?
Remember your parents taking you to Toys R Us when you were a kid?
Or maybe you remember all the times you took your own children to “the biggest toy store there is.”
I guess we’ll just have to settle for online toy shopping and gifts showing up in brown cardboard boxes. Ug.
I wanted to make sure our kids, Isaac and Anna Jo, had the chance to go to Toys R Us one more time before they closed. So we loaded up the mini-van and drove to Lexington, KY to be Toys R Us kids one more time!
This was the same store my mom and dad brought me too when I was a kid.
We had a blast.
The kids picked out their final gifts from Toys R Us and we made some awesome can’t miss moment!
And then we said goodbye. The kids cried. Heck, I CRIED!
On the way home, I got to thinkin’
“How could such an iconic brand fail? What are the lessons here for other businesses, because if Toys R Us can fall, any business can!”
I realized, Toys R Us failed because they thought they were a toy store.They thought they just sold toys. But Toys R Us didn’t sell toys; they sold family time, the experience of taking your kids to the store.
The light in your little girl’s eye when she saw the Barbie dolls.
The raw excitement of your little boy holding his new nerf gun.
Those experiences can’t be replicated by Wal-Mart.com or Amazon’s online marketplace. That was the Toys R Us advantage, but they didn’t realize it until it was too late.
So what am I saying?
We overcomplicate things in business.
We get caught up in our products, our logos, our jingles.
When really, all we have to do is focus on what truly matters.
The customers’ experience. The joy of a problem solved. The desire to return and buy more stuff to feel that way again.
That’s how to build a forever business.
Goodby Toys R Us. Thanks for the memories and the business lessons on your way out.
PS: I still don’t want to grow up, and I will always be a Toys R Us kid. I wonder if they are selling that domain name. 🙂
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