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November 2019 Retro Gaming Article


November 29, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Paramus, NJ gets the first of a new type of Toys R Us retail store

The Westfield Garden State Plaza gets a new Toys R Us
The Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall gets a re-imagined Toys R Us that puts emphasis on experiences.
New parent company TRU Kids has opened a new version of Toys R Us in Paramus, New Jersey. Gone are the sprawling 30,000 square foot box stores laden with aisle after aisle of toys. In it's place is a more targeted destination putting more emphasis on experiencing toys rather than a buy-and-go scenario.

From what I heard about the Chicago pop-up store, TRU needs to get this right and then some. The pop-up shop sounded expensive, rushed, and randomly staffed. No ducks-in-a-row on that venture, based on several accounts. Let's hope this Paramus mall store is on point!

Creating a destination full of experiences may fare better than corruption for cash.

Milking The Business Of All It Had

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and closed all US stores in 2018. Under new management (many of the same people, new name) the store opening days before Black Friday is the first foray back to brick & mortar retail locations. Is this a trial run? Will this lead to more locations? Who knows. Well, one more is coming soon to Houston, TX. I'm shocked they got anyone to loan them money and that any toy manufacturers would consider doing business with them.

The former Toys R Us rode that company into the ground with no hope for saving the beloved toy store. The executive team took huge bonuses and granted the same to those riding out the failure at the store level. They squeezed out every dime they could and shuttered the business.

Staging A Comeback

So, now Toys R Us is back... sort of. A new version with a new mission. I wonder if either Hasbro or Mattel will have anything to do with them. Big business is an ugly thing. We want to believe everything is joyful and happy at any toy manufacturer. Alas, it's like any big business. It's full of cut-throat deals and rampant corruption. That's how big bucks are made in modern times. Being the best is a laughable goal. Being deadly is the way it's done.

Attempting to make the new Toys R Us more experiential, might work. Pillaging the company's assets and discarding it didn't pan out too well for most folks - high level executives aside. I grew up with TRU as did my son. Seeing it thrown away by greed was sad. I hope they can right that ship and create a profitable toy store that fills a huge gap that will never be truly filled by Wal-Mart's few toy aisles. More toys, less corruption!

Video Games

If Toys R Us really wants to make a comeback, they need to sell video games. And the gaming aisle needs to have laminated box art with take-away tickets redeemed after checkout in a narrow booth by the door. That's how Geoffrey did it and that should remain!

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