Public Relations for Toys ‘R’ Us

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Toys 'R' UsEarlier this week when my son, Aiden, and I were driving home from his school he asked me about something he needed me to purchase (of course he needed it the next day) for school. I said that I would look and see if I could find it on Amazon Prime. Aiden proceeded to let me know that I should no longer purchase things on Amazon since they were putting businesses such as Toys 'R' Us out of business.

First?

When did my 5th grader become so up and aware on what is happening with big business in the world today. And that big business is putting the “smaller” (and I am hesitant to call Toys 'R' Us a small business) out of business.

Second?

I wouldn’t say that Aiden is 100 percent correct here, there are some other factors that come into play. Scott recently wrote a blog post, Image and Likability Mean More Now Than Ever, as a recap of an AAED luncheon about the evolution of retail and how to plan for change.

What are the factors that come into play?

Amazon the company, the one single company, isn’t putting Toys 'R' Us out of business. There are other factors that come into play when an organization files bankruptcy and closes stores. One of the main factors is being able to adjust and change with the times. Doing business the same way because that is the way it has always been done is no longer sufficient in today’s global business market.

Just last week there was news about Walmart launching grocery delivery to take on Amazon. This is the kind of forward thinking that allows organizations to move forward and make innovative decisions that will help with the success and growth. In addition, Walmart did a great job of communicating this message. They also did a nice job with the second round of communication with teaming up with Uber (although maybe not the greatest time with Uber’s self-driving car crisis this week).  The most ironic part of this is that it wasn’t that long ago that small mom and pop stores were fighting Walmart and now Walmart is the “small” company that is fighting “big business.”

What does this mean for Toys 'R' Us?

It seems like it might be too late for Toys 'R' Us. They have filed bankruptcy and they are closing their stores. But what  should have been done? First, they could have changed with the times. Instead of focusing on being just a brick and mortar store they could have focused on the online competition (i.e. Amazon) and changed with the times.  They also should have looked more closely at their target markets and how they liked to make their purchases. And then based their marketing and communications plans on the new information, instead of focusing on how it had always been done.

Rachel Brockway
Rachel Brockway
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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