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Toys R Us: Potentially rising from its grave?

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Posts

  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    OremLK wrote: »
    Might actually be a good thing if these stores shut down. There's still a lot of demand for toys, and if TRS is soaking up a lot of it, their collapse may allow smaller local toy stores to pop up in locations nearer to people's homes, serving up a better shopping experience and more flexibility to offer boutique toy brands.

    Honestly I wouldn't be surprised to see the opposite happen. Toys R Us is never replaced, and its role is subsumed by an existing entity like Amazon, which was already muscling it out.

    I'm sure it'll be some of both, though in which measures I don't know. Regardless, despite some fond childhood memories... TRUS is a big box chain store. This is not the little shop around the corner we're talking about. I didn't shed tears for Blockbuster or Circuit City either.

    OremLK on
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    I'd love to support local toy stores, but it really is a volume business right now. I mean, so far just this year Hasbro has released 21 unique toys that I can think off of the top of my head that I've seen in stores... and that's just for one line out of 4 or so. That's a LOT of shelf space. And the way Hasbro packages things is usually multiples to a case, so if the case doesn't completely sell out they won't order more.

    Again, I think the model going forward is JIT fulfillment, which Amazon is good at. But you need some kind of space to see and play with things.

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    I'd love to support local toy stores, but it really is a volume business right now. I mean, so far just this year Hasbro has released 21 unique toys that I can think off of the top of my head that I've seen in stores... and that's just for one line out of 4 or so. That's a LOT of shelf space. And the way Hasbro packages things is usually multiples to a case, so if the case doesn't completely sell out they won't order more.

    Again, I think the model going forward is JIT fulfillment, which Amazon is good at. But you need some kind of space to see and play with things.

    The local stores would obviously have to be more segmented, targeted at specific age ranges and types of toys. Some of that already exists, although not very much. I guess I agree Amazon will be the biggest winner here, but I do think it'd be great if we saw more locally owned toy stores popping up in neighborhood centers and downtowns and even suburban strip malls.

  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    Except it really seems like this wasn't caused by times, markets, technology, or keeping up or failing.

    It was caused by a PE firm effectively killing TRU on purpose and looting as much money from it as possible on the way down.

    To be fair, it has been 12/13 years. They were dying slowly enough to maybe look like they weren’t dying...

    ...until 3 years ago when favored Bainson Dave Brandon took over to deliver the coup de grace.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Toys R Us Canada appears to be doing just fine and some people are maybe looking to buy it. Hopefully this doesn't go down like the Blockbuster situation where the american version took the Canadian version down with it despite the Canadian stores being profitable.

    This in general matches with my experience, which sound nothing like the americans talking about Toys R Us. Here it's no more expensive then anywhere else and places like Amazon.ca are way way way less useful for picking up stuff because neither the selection nor the prices are good enough to be retail destroying. The closest competition would be Walmart and on that front the two are pretty similar, with Toys R Us generally having a better baby section and having the benefit of not being Walmart. Babies R Us is very useful. That's a competitive store on both prices and selection.

    Also at least young kids (preschoolers and the like) play with toys all the time, so that market seems fine overall.

    AridholLaOs
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    TRU was something special and otherwordly to me. The nearest one is ~30 minutes away from me, so the few times I actually got to go to it as a kid were amazing times.

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  • President EvilPresident Evil Let's Rock Registered User regular
    Dave Brandon failed upward after destroying Michigan athletics into this job because he's buddies with Mitt Romney. And managed to make sure that the executives got massive bonuses as the company went bankrupt.

    Fuck that fucking asshole.

    He's definitely got the anti-Midas touch. Don't forget that Domino's was synonymous with shitty pizza until he left.

    Elldren
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    OremLK wrote: »
    Athenor wrote: »
    I'd love to support local toy stores, but it really is a volume business right now. I mean, so far just this year Hasbro has released 21 unique toys that I can think off of the top of my head that I've seen in stores... and that's just for one line out of 4 or so. That's a LOT of shelf space. And the way Hasbro packages things is usually multiples to a case, so if the case doesn't completely sell out they won't order more.

    Again, I think the model going forward is JIT fulfillment, which Amazon is good at. But you need some kind of space to see and play with things.

    The local stores would obviously have to be more segmented, targeted at specific age ranges and types of toys. Some of that already exists, although not very much. I guess I agree Amazon will be the biggest winner here, but I do think it'd be great if we saw more locally owned toy stores popping up in neighborhood centers and downtowns and even suburban strip malls.

    I have thought about opening my own store, but I would never make the amount of money I am making now. There are a few kindergarten/toddler aged toy stores around, mostly focusing on educational toys. But in terms of the 80s consumption era... eh.

    Well.. I guess the board game store counts, as we can get in some Hasbro product and they've started carrying Gunpla. But it's not the same, and again, toys take up a lot of physical room (mostly due to packaging being stupid/protective.)

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Dave Brandon failed upward after destroying Michigan athletics into this job because he's buddies with Mitt Romney. And managed to make sure that the executives got massive bonuses as the company went bankrupt.

    Fuck that fucking asshole.

    He's definitely got the anti-Midas touch. Don't forget that Domino's was synonymous with shitty pizza until he left.

    Screen%20Shot%202014-01-12%20at%203.22.15%20PM.png

    I am WELL AWARE. Bonus: that is from an Ohio State blog. They did not make that chart to make fun of Michigan, but to empathize with us. Dave Brandon was so terrible, Ohio State fans were on Michigan fans' side.

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  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    OremLK wrote: »
    OremLK wrote: »
    Might actually be a good thing if these stores shut down. There's still a lot of demand for toys, and if TRS is soaking up a lot of it, their collapse may allow smaller local toy stores to pop up in locations nearer to people's homes, serving up a better shopping experience and more flexibility to offer boutique toy brands.

    Honestly I wouldn't be surprised to see the opposite happen. Toys R Us is never replaced, and its role is subsumed by an existing entity like Amazon, which was already muscling it out.

    I'm sure it'll be some of both, though in which measures I don't know. Regardless, despite some fond childhood memories... TRS is a big box chain store. This is not the little shop around the corner we're talking about. I didn't shed tears for Blockbuster or Circuit City either.

    I feel bad for the people who lost their job because some billionaires wanted more money.

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  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Mitt Romney continues the cherished Republican tradition of taking things I loved in my childhood and murdering them in the pursuit of money.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
    BetsuniDisruptedCapitalistCelestialBadgerSleepLovelyGiggles_FunsworthL Ron Howard
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    I could see more specialized stores turning up, but only in very large markets. You already have LEGO stores. I could see a shop that specializes in, say, action figures or toddler toys. But more likely the market will just shrink to what can fit on shelves at Target or Wal-Mart, or collectors will pay enough for online.

    Gnome-Interruptus
  • BrainleechBrainleech Registered User regular
    That is a problem though as Hasbro's and Mattel's webstores suck
    I have no idea if it's in stock or even made nor do they even have current toys. I know Hasbro is launching a collector's site and Mattel had one for Barbie/Hot Wheels.

    DoodmannDarkPrimus
  • Romantic UndeadRomantic Undead Registered User regular
    Well, since I haven’t seen it posted yet, allow me to be the first:

    I don’t want to 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 want to grow up,
    ‘Cause Maybe if I did
    I couldn’t be a Toys “R” Us kid!

    3DS FC: 1547-5210-6531
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  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    I went into Toys R' Us a couple of months ago just to kill some time and look around.

    It was... smaller than I remembered.

    Still, I'm sad to see it go.

    Maybe this is my chance to snag some Legos on the cheap.

    RT800 on
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited March 2018
    I was one of those spoiled kids who would get a toy basically every Friday night from the local TRU. I really loved just hanging out at that place even when I couldn't get anything. It's where I got all my NES and Genesis games and tried out Virtual Boy.

    Sadly, I just don't have a use for toys anymore outside the super rare "must build something" scenario and toys aren't any better than the ones I still have from being a kid, so even when I went in I couldn't find anything to buy.

    Incenjucar on
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    Any idea when a "come pick at the corpse" sale might start?

    steam_sig.png
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar Audio Game Developer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Any idea when a "come pick at the corpse" sale might start?

    The prices at those sales are often higher than usual sale prices.

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  • caligynefobcaligynefob DKRegistered User regular
    TRUS will continue to exist in Denmark as they’re franchises with the name licensed from a danish toy company. I suspect it’s the same in other countries.

    It’s sad to see, but the brand has a lot of value, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see TRUS continue in some form.

    PS4 - Mrfuzzyhat
  • Doctor DetroitDoctor Detroit Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Any idea when a "come pick at the corpse" sale might start?

    The prices at those sales are often higher than usual sale prices.

    Yeah, usually when a liquidation sale like this occurs, my understanding is that it’s managed by a third party. They’ll come in and price everything, then discount from there. So yeah, some things may start overpriced, but then get good discounts eventually—if they last long enough.

    The weird thing in this case is the ~200 stores that have already been selling everything off. Do they reset prices or just hold in place until the other stores catch up to their discounted prices?

    cloudeagle
  • RickRudeRickRude Registered User regular
    It's beyond fucked up that through wall street shenanigans 33k people lost their jobs. But, of course this won't be the story, and people won't pay attention. And, hey, I just got a $500 bonus from my company. Everything is fine. It's fine.

    HefflingBloodySlothTofystedethGiggles_Funsworth
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    Except it really seems like this wasn't caused by times, markets, technology, or keeping up or failing.

    It was caused by a PE firm effectively killing TRU on purpose and looting as much money from it as possible on the way down.

    To be fair, it has been 12/13 years. They were dying slowly enough to maybe look like they weren’t dying...

    ...until 3 years ago when favored Bainson Dave Brandon took over to deliver the coup de grace.

    Eh... 5 billion in debt is a LOT of debt service. TRU would almost certainly still been in business today without it, and with a few hundred extra million in cash a year may have been able to keep prices competitive and expand into the online markets or otherwise make investments to remain relevant.

    If you completely suck all cash flow from a company that would allow it to make investments and improvements you can’t really blame them for becoming outdated and failing to keep up with the market.

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  • RickRudeRickRude Registered User regular
    Wasn't toys R Us online service combined with walmart or another retailer not too long ago? I remember shopping on a site and having toys R us being the section for toys and games.

    rndmhero
  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Knight_ wrote: »
    Except it really seems like this wasn't caused by times, markets, technology, or keeping up or failing.

    It was caused by a PE firm effectively killing TRU on purpose and looting as much money from it as possible on the way down.

    To be fair, it has been 12/13 years. They were dying slowly enough to maybe look like they weren’t dying...

    ...until 3 years ago when favored Bainson Dave Brandon took over to deliver the coup de grace.

    Eh... 5 billion in debt is a LOT of debt service. TRU would almost certainly still been in business today without it, and with a few hundred extra million in cash a year may have been able to keep prices competitive and expand into the online markets or otherwise make investments to remain relevant.

    If you completely suck all cash flow from a company that would allow it to make investments and improvements you can’t really blame them for becoming outdated and failing to keep up with the market.

    Yeah stagnation is a death sentence for any company regardless of size. If anything TRU lasting this long with no access to their cash flow is a testament to the viability of their services.

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  • ButtersButters A glass of some milks Registered User regular
    Viskod wrote: »
    Kids don’t want toys anymore. Generally speaking.

    They’re given phones and tablets to keep them distracted younger and younger and go right for iOS games instead.

    Ease of access to the internet and social media has made children grow up faster.

    So there’s less demand for toys nowadays in general.

    Judging from the fact that I can barely walk anywhere in the houses of my friends and associates that are parents without stepping on a toy, I do not agree with this assessment.

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  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    Sad news. I'd be interested if Legos or games get a deep sale so I could go in for one last ride (I got an SNES classic at a TRU), but other than that it's depressing.

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  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    Any idea when a "come pick at the corpse" sale might start?

    The prices at those sales are often higher than usual sale prices.

    Yeah, usually when a liquidation sale like this occurs, my understanding is that it’s managed by a third party. They’ll come in and price everything, then discount from there. So yeah, some things may start overpriced, but then get good discounts eventually—if they last long enough.

    On top of that, it's very likely that the store closures will be staggered, with hot sellers like Lego being shipped from weaker stores closing first to more popular stores.

    I know when one of the TRU stores in my area shut down a few years ago the Lego section vanished before sales started.

    It may be possible to get some good deals, but that'll require a lot of research and luck.

    cloudeagle on
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  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    NPR's report on this story focused on the changing buying habits (even implying Alexa was a sign of how Amazon was innovating, a sphere TRU could never hope to touch), and the leveraged buyout debt was only mentioned about a minute and a half into the story, in a single sentence.

    Sadly, the debt isn't going to be the sexy story, I wager.

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
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  • Desktop HippieDesktop Hippie ATOMIKA! IT’S ME! IT’S DESKTOP HIPPIE!Registered User regular
    I have a friend in the Midlands in the UK who went to his local Toys R Us this morning just so he could say goodbye to it. The place was already closed up.

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  • ChiselphaneChiselphane Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Lego may be excluded. Don't know yet. And certainly it will be the first to go, because the resale value will be through the roof.

    There's a couple Power Rangers Legacy items I have my eyes on. Well, more like one. With Bandai no longer making Power Rangers toys (the license went to Hasbro) and now this, maybe that $200 toy will be.. reasonable.

    I was in my local store yesterday, and they have *some* Lego on discount but it's mostly stuff that wasn't selling anyways. Like Angry Birds, etc. A few gems though, some Nexo Knight sets for example. But the vast majority have 'exempt from clearance' all over them. Actually the Lego section was the one place in the store that looked 'normal', no big empty gaps on the shelves, etc. The couple staff I asked about it (and good god they are WEARY of it, they said they get asked about Lego almost constantly, every day) are leaning towards 'it will be sent elsewhere rather than go on sale'. Where that elsewhere may be, no answer. You're right though, it'll be a feeding frenzy if they do get marked down.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Toys R Us Canada appears to be doing just fine and some people are maybe looking to buy it. Hopefully this doesn't go down like the Blockbuster situation where the american version took the Canadian version down with it despite the Canadian stores being profitable.

    This in general matches with my experience, which sound nothing like the americans talking about Toys R Us. Here it's no more expensive then anywhere else and places like Amazon.ca are way way way less useful for picking up stuff because neither the selection nor the prices are good enough to be retail destroying. The closest competition would be Walmart and on that front the two are pretty similar, with Toys R Us generally having a better baby section and having the benefit of not being Walmart. Babies R Us is very useful. That's a competitive store on both prices and selection.

    Also at least young kids (preschoolers and the like) play with toys all the time, so that market seems fine overall.

    This just reads like "Amazon Canada is lagging behind". This isn't a description of a healthy market - its a description of a place where the Eye of Bezos has not yet cast it's gaze. It's crazy to me to hear someone say that Amazon's selection is less than "somewhere between exhaustive and encyclopedic". From my experiences trying to ship items we've purchased in the US up to our Canadian offices, import duties are also helping a lot as it's quite expensive to just get across the border. Likewise, as soon as something enters Canada delivery seems to slow down by 1-2 days (not to mention the 2-5 days sitting at the border) over expected delivery times to a similar distance in the USA.

    I guess what I'm saying is that the reason TRU Canada is competitive has little to do with TRU and a lot to do with artificial, external conditions that are preventing competitors from destroying them.

  • HerrCronHerrCron It that wickedly supports taxation Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Toys R Us Canada appears to be doing just fine and some people are maybe looking to buy it. Hopefully this doesn't go down like the Blockbuster situation where the american version took the Canadian version down with it despite the Canadian stores being profitable.

    This in general matches with my experience, which sound nothing like the americans talking about Toys R Us. Here it's no more expensive then anywhere else and places like Amazon.ca are way way way less useful for picking up stuff because neither the selection nor the prices are good enough to be retail destroying. The closest competition would be Walmart and on that front the two are pretty similar, with Toys R Us generally having a better baby section and having the benefit of not being Walmart. Babies R Us is very useful. That's a competitive store on both prices and selection.

    Also at least young kids (preschoolers and the like) play with toys all the time, so that market seems fine overall.

    This just reads like "Amazon Canada is lagging behind". This isn't a description of a healthy market - its a description of a place where the Eye of Bezos has not yet cast it's gaze. It's crazy to me to hear someone say that Amazon's selection is less than "somewhere between exhaustive and encyclopedic". From my experiences trying to ship items we've purchased in the US up to our Canadian offices, import duties are also helping a lot as it's quite expensive to just get across the border. Likewise, as soon as something enters Canada delivery seems to slow down by 1-2 days (not to mention the 2-5 days sitting at the border) over expected delivery times to a similar distance in the USA.

    I guess what I'm saying is that the reason TRU Canada is competitive has little to do with TRU and a lot to do with artificial, external conditions that are preventing competitors from destroying them.

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

    sig.gif
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    NPR's report on this story focused on the changing buying habits (even implying Alexa was a sign of how Amazon was innovating, a sphere TRU could never hope to touch), and the leveraged buyout debt was only mentioned about a minute and a half into the story, in a single sentence.

    Sadly, the debt isn't going to be the sexy story, I wager.

    It's not a matter of it being "sexy". There's a false narrative that's built up about the struggles in retail being caused by Amazon, because it's an easy narrative to build, one that feels "truthy" to most folks. But the reality of the matter is that brick and mortar retail isn't dying - it's being actively murdered.

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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Anyone could cure it with blindness There were moments where I thought I could beRegistered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    NPR's report on this story focused on the changing buying habits (even implying Alexa was a sign of how Amazon was innovating, a sphere TRU could never hope to touch), and the leveraged buyout debt was only mentioned about a minute and a half into the story, in a single sentence.

    Sadly, the debt isn't going to be the sexy story, I wager.

    It's not a matter of it being "sexy". There's a false narrative that's built up about the struggles in retail being caused by Amazon, because it's an easy narrative to build, one that feels "truthy" to most folks. But the reality of the matter is that brick and mortar retail isn't dying - it's being actively murdered.

    Brick, mortar, and the service industry as a whole are all being pummeled into the dirt. TRU was just another in what will be a constant chain that's probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

    Make. Time.
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    NPR's report on this story focused on the changing buying habits (even implying Alexa was a sign of how Amazon was innovating, a sphere TRU could never hope to touch), and the leveraged buyout debt was only mentioned about a minute and a half into the story, in a single sentence.

    Sadly, the debt isn't going to be the sexy story, I wager.

    It's not a matter of it being "sexy". There's a false narrative that's built up about the struggles in retail being caused by Amazon, because it's an easy narrative to build, one that feels "truthy" to most folks. But the reality of the matter is that brick and mortar retail isn't dying - it's being actively murdered.

    Brick, mortar, and the service industry as a whole are all being pummeled into the dirt. TRU was just another in what will be a constant chain that's probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

    No, not really. Look at it this way - if brick&mortar businesses are being smashed into oblivion by Amazon, then why is Jeff Bezos investing billions to get Amazon into that sector? No, the problem that retail has is that vulture capitalists see the companies as easy prey, in large part because of misconceptions about retail and online.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Bezos wants to invest in brick & mortar because a lot of people stop by Best Buy to scope out tech items and try before they buy to see what the actual measurements are, how it actually looks (pictures can be misleading or downright deceptive sometimes). The same can be said for clothing too, with a lot of the sizes being not quite how you'd expect them to be in the US (a lot of clothes use asian and european measurements for some reason).

    So there's a huge value to be had in brick & mortar still.

    Plus with price matching, I'm sure Best Buy and the like are eating into their potential profits.

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  • RobonunRobonun It's all fun and games until someone pisses off China Registered User regular
    Well, since I haven’t seen it posted yet, allow me to be the first:

    I don’t want to 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 want to grow up,
    ‘Cause Maybe if I did
    I couldn’t be a Toys “R” Us kid!

    *sob*

  • jungleroomxjungleroomx Anyone could cure it with blindness There were moments where I thought I could beRegistered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    NPR's report on this story focused on the changing buying habits (even implying Alexa was a sign of how Amazon was innovating, a sphere TRU could never hope to touch), and the leveraged buyout debt was only mentioned about a minute and a half into the story, in a single sentence.

    Sadly, the debt isn't going to be the sexy story, I wager.

    It's not a matter of it being "sexy". There's a false narrative that's built up about the struggles in retail being caused by Amazon, because it's an easy narrative to build, one that feels "truthy" to most folks. But the reality of the matter is that brick and mortar retail isn't dying - it's being actively murdered.

    Brick, mortar, and the service industry as a whole are all being pummeled into the dirt. TRU was just another in what will be a constant chain that's probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

    No, not really. Look at it this way - if brick&mortar businesses are being smashed into oblivion by Amazon, then why is Jeff Bezos investing billions to get Amazon into that sector? No, the problem that retail has is that vulture capitalists see the companies as easy prey, in large part because of misconceptions about retail and online.

    The two things are not mutually exclusive.

    He can trash the current brick and mortar industry and still want to invest in it after the competition's gone.

    Basically Amazon is looking to monopolize retail given the fact the US currently doesn't really give a shit about monopolies.

    Make. Time.
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    If you look at a lot of the recent retail collapses, there's almost always financial shenanigans going on. Look at Sears/Kmart for example - their core problem is that they're run by an Objectivist goose who'd rather part them out for a quick profit.

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  • SadgasmSadgasm Deluded doodler A cold placeRegistered User regular
    I've never actually been in a Toys R Us, they never had a location where I lived most of my life, but I always loved big toy stores as a kid, it's sad that they're going away. There's a store here called Leksakshuset (The Toy House. I know, not the most imaginative name), and when I was a kid, that place was like fucking El Dorado to us. I've been there a few times as an adult and it just seems...smaller somehow.

    Nightslyr
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