Toys R us - was it too late for customer Loyalty?

Written by Pete Howroyd 

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid (circa 1990), Toys R Us was the best place on earth! My siblings and I used to LOVE going down to their stores (essentially a huge warehouse stocked FULL of toys) to play with absolutely everything I saw; and would then badger my parents to let me take at least one thing home with me... (nine times out of ten I would win!)

 

Unfortunately, the US toy store giant broke our hearts in 2018 when it closed all of its UK stores after filing for bankruptcy. So, what went wrong?

 

Unfortunately, Toys R Us missed the mark on understanding who their customer was (children) and how to engage them. Whilst the likes of Hamleys opted to create a second-to-none retail experience, Toys R Us failed to refresh their store design and infrastructure, leaving their increasingly digitally charged, and technologically savvy customers (and their parents!) with far less of an itch to visit their store.

 

But could they have done more had they utilised an effective loyalty programme

Toys R Us could have invested in sophisticated technologies which would have made it easy to collect information from young people and parents on behalf of their children, for marketing research which would have enabled better and more personalised targeting and enticing rewards programmes to individual children.

 

By creating engaging, interactive environments based on products and brand names, Toys R Us could have encouraged and fostered an important life lesson for young people, build brand loyalty from an early age.

Pete is the founder of The loyalty People and has directed and grown many well-known loyalty programs across department stores, fashion, pharma, and luxury retail. Known within the industry as a thought leader and expert in his field, Pete has a passion for unlocking the value of customer data. Pete founded The Loyalty People to allow businesses to build and accelerate customer loyalty.

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