Toys R Us Inc. shoppers will have to head to stores to pick up their favorite toys now. The toy retailer has ceased selling online. Toys R Us, No. 38 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 1000, announced on March 15 that it had started winding down all its operations.
“We have shut down the website for any purchases but our brick and mortar stores are open and holding going out of business sales,” an overlaid message on the site reads. “We encourage you to stop by your local store and take full advantage of the deep discounts and deals available. Thank you for your business and support over the years.”
The message also appears on the Babies R Us site and points users to a separate site, GoodBuyToysRUs.com, with information about store closures. Users can dismiss the message and look at products and pricing on the site, but there is no way to add items to a cart or see if an item is available in stores. Customers who placed online orders recently can still check order status.
The closing of the retailer’s e-commerce operations leaves an estimated $1.7 billion in toy sales up for grabs, likely to be gobbled up by those companies that already dominate toy sales: Walmart Inc. (No. 3) and Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1).
However, smaller toy retailers and manufacturers also could capitalize on the wealth of shoppers looking for toys online. Mark Carson, president and co-founder of Fat Brain Toys LLC (No. 540)—a toy manufacturer that sells through other retailers, but also sells directly to consumers online and in its own stores—expects to take advantage of its strength in guiding customers to toys that are age-appropriate to get a leg up. These niche retailers also are already geared for selling toys, while bigger mass merchants may have to retool stores and stock up on toy and children-focused inventory.Favorite