It has been a long time since I have posted anything here. I’m leading a busy life and specifically in the last few months as I’m taking some serious decisions in my life.
I have been surfing the internet for my daily dosage of news and interesting things. Someone posted the above photo on their twitter. For all who have no idea what is it all about, the well-known toys store Toys“R”Us are closing their stores owing to bankruptcy.
Now, from a pure marketing point of view, we could easily identify why the renowned store is closing its doors by just taking a look at their standard marketing mix (the 4 P’s):
- Product: Sadly, our childhood toys don’t cut it with this generation. When I was a little kid, I used to love video games. However, I also loved my legos, forts, mini cars, you name them. Both technology & plastic based games and toys caught my attention for a long a time equally. Nowadays, most children want to play on PCs, consoles, and phones. R Us was driven out of the competition in this segment due to the fact that the product itself is not appealing anymore.
- Price: The price and product have a strong (if not the strongest) bond between them. When your product is out-of-this-world, the customer would justify paying a premium price for it, but when the customer (or their parents) finds their bang of the buck in a video game, well, maybe it’s a code red to start lowering your prices to the masses. Toys “R” Us didn’t do this and they kept charging people high prices.
- Place: Let me be honest, I hate going to stores to buy stuff. Not it’s just because I currently don’t own a car, or because I have troubles walking owing to my torn cartilage… Most of the people in this modern era prefer to order online, it’s just at the tip of your fingers. Food menus, groceries, even cars! The new generation, and even our current one, has adopted the notion of “ordering things” not picking them up. In other words, even though the toys chain made some efforts to compete in the cyber world, other platforms like Amazon were tearing up the competition to cover most of the globe with competing prices and bigger catalogs.
- People: This point is heavily connected to the product. Your potential market has changed. 10 years old children are not interested in Hot Wheels anymore. You either have to keep supplying for your original target customers with alterations that adapt to the contemporary demand, or you have to change your segment along with your 360 strategies. Toys“R”Us can’t do the latter since the store was founded as toys heavens for little kids, changing the brand identity will only cost you extra money that you’ll probably lose later. For instance, The toy store sells video games, but when I need to purchase a new game for my PS4 is R Us my first option? Probably not, despite the fact that I’m getting the same product with the same quality and same price (my example refers to games that have been newly released because it’s really not fair for R Us to be compared to Amazon’s or Gamestop’s deals on used games) my options are either getting it from the PSN store as a digital copy, having it delivered to my doorstep from Amazon, or do the unthinkable and wait in a huge queue under the snow for a midnight release at Gamestop or Target.
The modern technology has impacted and destroyed numerous empires, and of course small business as well. Sadly, today’s market is like a wild jungle, you have to stay ready 24/7, a competitor might be prowling to get you, or some type of a market shift you’re not aware of might get you killed within hours.