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  1. #11
    That's the interesting thing. ToysRUs have repeatedly blamed online shopping and Amazon etc for their demise however Smyths has apparently seen growth of 400% in the last decade showing TRU were merely poorly managed into oblivion.

  2. #12
    Smyths are generally a bit cheaper and have more special offers. And unlike TRU the Videogame dept won't have FIFA 14 on the shelf for 49.99 in 2018. TRU really did shaft themselves, sad as it is to see another store close its doors.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Superman Falls View Post
    That's the interesting thing. ToysRUs have repeatedly blamed online shopping and Amazon etc for their demise however Smyths has apparently seen growth of 400% in the last decade showing TRU were merely poorly managed into oblivion.
    Personally, while I am somewhat sad to see another load of people lose their jobs, I feel that the business lost its way. They can blame online retailers etc. all they want, but that's been coming in for 20 years now, it's not like it should've been a surprise.

    On this visit where we bought the Nerf gun, we had a walk around and the two of us had a bit of a reflection on how it felt these days compared to when we were kids. The ads back in the 90s prominently said "it's a magical place" in their jingle, and definitely as a kid, visiting Toys'R'Us wasn't just a shopping trip, but also an experience. They had a massive range of stuff, from sports gear to board games and everything in-between. They even (in the 16-bit era) had a pretty amazing videogames section where you could play things (similar to listening to new albums in HMV). They also seemed to have a lot of staff, with people in the bike section that were pretty up on their bikes, people in the videogames section who knew what games to recommend to parents... And of course, it was huge.

    That last part has obviously changed as we've changed. The store probably does feel huge to kids even now. However, am I the only one who feels it was already a bit "derelict"? We went to buy some gifts at Christmas and it just feels lifeless. There were hardly any staff, for starters. They've complained about problems with shoplifting but when you have 3 staff to cover a store the size of a football pitch then you're going to have people try to do that. The videogames section was threadbare, with only a handful of titles and the 3 Amiibo nobody wants. The lego section seemed pretty well-stocked, I suppose, but that bike section I mentioned before was just full of super high-price electric kid's cars.

    Plus the whole thing was lit with striplights bright enough to be unpleasant and the aisles were clearly still decked out in the decor with which it was built in ~1994. I mean we joke about GAME but I've been in some of their stores recently and at least they renovate them every 5 years or so when they start to look a bit tired.

    It probably feels melancholy because it reminds you of Woolworths; in that they've just lost any kind of vision, like a massive cargo ship which takes a month to turn around, so it's just been drifting in a straight line for ten years. You look around and you wonder who it is for.

  4. #14
    @Asura, no I feel the same - it's so sterile in the last few years and sections seem to merge into each other rather than "omg I'm in the starwars section".

  5. #15
    TRU was my 1st part time job during my college years.

    Made some great friends who I'm still in contact with now. One of who is Harry's godfather.

  6. #16
    Another thing was even as a kid I was impressed at their range of toys. I always liked the random science set I got for Christmas and a plaster of paris mould and paint sets I often hinted at to my mum on visits. I could find what I wanted even if it was sky high. Now its just a mess.

    I have a couple of very specific memories of the store at Teesside Park. I remember my mum gave me an ultimatum in the videogames section if I wanted a Playstation or Nintendo 64 for Christmas, as she had spoken to the lad in charge of the sector and, he told her enough to think a Playstation would be the better games console for a true gamer. I did think on it for a while but I still stuck with a Nintendo 64, which I went into great detail to her my reasoning (how I had always loved Nintendo, how I was impressed by the 3D graphics and more the controls of Mario 64 I had played at a neighbours, how I knew of several games I wanted to get in the future and how I was concerned about scratching game discs instead of cartridges.) My mum was really impressed and made a point of saying something of the lines of" I thought you just blew stuff up on those things".

    When Tamagotchi's became the must have gadget around that time I think 1998, my grandparents were visiting and said they would take us to the store early to queue and get one from 6am-ish. We got there and there were only about 3 people there so we went for breakfast as MacDonalds opposite the entrance to keep an eye on the door. My poor Nan dropped her coat in a puddle of coffee and I got my first taste of their cinnamon donuts (my Grandad shared his with me).
    I wanted one of the other digital pets (I think it was a monkey?) not Tamagotchi like my sister but as it became clear we'd defiantly get one, my granddad convinced me I should get the one that was popular. Staff were really nice and organised offering vouchers and special deals for those who waited. My grandad died suddenly later that year so it was one of my last memories of him.

  7. #17
    Deffo sad to see it go but I couldn't see any other way, it's operating on the same ethos it did in the early 90s, it's been like this for well over a decade, dead, huge stores full of product with no staff or customers as everybody buys online or uses Argos. If it was a TV show, it would be The Simpsons.

    I will really miss the place, I've had some amazing gaming bargs in there, especially back in the 90s when they used to do these crazy bundles of NES and MD games, I remember picking up about 10 NES games in a bundle for about 20-30, it was ridiculous.

  8. #18
    You've summarised my feelings pretty well tbh Asura. Nothing against the company but I can definitely understand the point about them having large stores with little to no identity and limited staff numbers these days.

    I wish the staff the best with finding new roles in retail or elsewhere. Putting it bluntly, retailers/businesses need to evolve or they will fade away (or in this case go into administration and close).
    Last edited by Paddy; 09-03-2018 at 12:40 PM.

  9. #19
    Same as Barnes and noble blaming Amazon yet waterstones are doing great.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad View Post
    Same as Barnes and noble blaming Amazon yet waterstones are doing great.
    Waterstones have excelled because they removed the control from their central management and placed more faith in the individual stores. While they have certain principles under which they operate, specific shops can be quite different, hosting local authors, running local events and altering their stock to suit their local demographics.


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