DALLAS (CBS11) – Six North Texas Toys”R”Us stores are scheduled to close in the next several months, as the chain struggles to emerge from bankruptcy.
Some 187 will close nationwide.
“I’m super bummed because this is so close to my house, and the other ones that are staying open aren’t close at all,” says shopper Aly Gonzales at the Galleria area store. Gonzales now has two ‘ToysRUs Kids’ of her own– and says she’s not a huge fan of shopping online.
“The kids aren’t entertained by online shopping like they are by going to the toy store and picking out their toys,” says Gonzales, “it’s not the same.”
And other shoppers agree.
“I like going to see the stuff and touching [with] my hand,” says Hassan Alobaidi, a father of four. “Sometime you see the online item, when you get it, it’s different…here, when you go, you can see which toy you want. Big difference, yeah.”
In terms of retail real estate, it would seem that a North Dallas, off the tollway, Galleria location would be ideal. But, SMU Cox Marketing Professor Daniel J. Howard says one reason the chain is struggling is because they invested in the wrong type of real estate.
“What happened is they kept on building more and more big box stores and neglecting the digital component,” says Professor Howard. “What they also critically forgot: where do children go for their toys and their games today? They go to their tablets and to their iPhones.”
Professor Howard, who readily identifies as a former ‘Toys”R”Us Kid’ says his visceral response to news of the closings was “agony,” still he doesn’t believe that all brick and mortar stores will disappear. He says those that survive must incorporate E-commerce and learn to do both well. Besides, no one likes the hassle of returns.
“If I shopped in person, I might not run into that because you’re able to look at it, touch it, in the case of clothing, try it on,” says Toys”R”Us shopper Jeff Scoggins, who says that along with the convenience, there’s a definite downside of shopping online.
A spokesperson for the company in a statement said they are looking to place as many employees as they can in stores that will remain open, others will be offered severance packages.
“I come here all the time. I know the employees by name. Really disappointed that it’s closing,” says Gonzales.