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Can The Toys ‘R’ Us Troubles Teach Valuable Lessons To Other Retailers?

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Excerpt from Retail Touchpoints article featuring Laura Davis-Taylor:

Some industry experts point to a store experience at Toys ‘R’ Us that wasn’t keeping up with the trend toward experiential retail. “As a shopper and the mother of a 10-year-old, I can say that visiting a Toys ‘R’ Us wasn’t fun,” said Laura Davis-Taylor, Co-Founder, HighStreet Collective in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “The toys are sealed up in plastic and there are no real play areas.”

Toys ‘R’ Us was caught in the middle between the low price/low experience and high price/high experience ends of the spectrum, Davis-Taylor said. That made them susceptible to competition from Amazon. “People can buy something off of Amazon without a thought, so there’s no reason to come into the store and pay $5 more for it,” she said. “There’s not even the need to try on a pair of jeans, as there is at an apparel retailer. People know they’re going to get a Furby when they order it online, they don’t need to see the box.”

The retailer’s moves to invest in its stores represent too little, too late, said Davis-Taylor. “Target is investing in the billions to upgrade their store experience, and they understand the unique points of differentiation they have,” she said. “People like to go to a store where everyone who is on the trip can get something for them. It’s what I call the ‘pester’ effect when you’re shopping with kids.”

For full article, click here.

Laura Davis-Taylor

Laura was literally born into retail. Wandering malls serving as the eyes of her blind, fashion-addicted mom, she cultivated a sixth sense for understanding what makes a great store experience. Twenty years later, she’s been a brand planner, internet maven, store design strategist, innovation instigator and she even 'wrote the book' on in-store digital media. She thrives when in a hive of activity, so don’t be surprised when she’s talking about 5 things at once. Don’t worry, it will make sense the end—just fasten your seatbelt!