The CEO has some big plans to spearhead a turnaround for the one-time powerhouse in the toy business.In order for brick-and-mortar retailers to survive in today’s challenging environment, they need a few basic things at their disposal. Killer products help, as does a reason to go to the store itself. Additionally, it certainly helps to have someone at the helm that has a clear vision for where the company should be heading - and how it can get there. As Bloomberg reports, it sounds like Toys R Us may be finally checking off all of those boxes, and the CEO has some big plans to spearhead a turnaround for the one-time powerhouse in the toy business.
Dave Brandon took over as CEO in July of 2015, and he’s visited 200 of the company’s locations since then. He’s made careful notes of things that need to be changed - empty or disorganized shelves, clearance racks that reek of a dollar store approach - and he knows that he has his work cut out for him. The company was targeted for a leveraged buyout by several financial heavyweights over a decade ago, and debt remains a huge issue.
That’s not standing in the way of Brandon’s enthusiasm, and he knows that some crucial changes need to be made in order to successfully turn the company around.
“The biggest change you are going to see over the next year is that we want to bring our toy stores to life. I want kids to be dragging their parents to our stores because they want to see what’s going on at Toys ‘R’ Us this weekend,” he says.
With that simple phrase, Brandon reveals that he’s in tune with a key tenet of success in today’s brick-and-mortar environment: the merging of shopping and experience.
“I want kids to come in here and not know where to go next because there are so many things going on,” he adds.
While the retailer remains at the top of the mind for children who are aware of its presence, there are plenty whose parents steer them away due to more attractive prices from retailers such as Amazon and Wal-mart. If Brandon can execute his vision of making the toy store visit more of an experience, those same parents may be more apt to take their little ones and recapture some of the magic they experienced in their youth, when a visit to a toy store alone was truly an event.