Why Companies Like Claire’s and Toys ‘R’ Us Are Dying?

By: Idea Theorem
23 March 2018
8 min read

With recent news of Claire’s filing for bankruptcy, it makes people wonder where the big giant brick and mortar retailers are heading? Apart from Claire’s and Toys ‘R’ Us, even Macy’s and Gymboree have also become the latest victim of the retail apocalypse by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Let us take a look at Claire’s and Toys ‘R’ Us for example, these companies have been an essential part of your growing up years for decades. Claire’s has been a staple of every mall, it has been every teenage girl’s go-to store and Toys ‘R’ Us is a store where every kid, new and to-be moms go for shopping for toys. What happened to them? They acquired huge debts which they are still paying. Both of the companies went private due to which they acquired huge debts. Both companies tried to shed off the heavy load of debt but were unsuccessful.

Another reason is Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, IndiaMart and advent of ecommerce and social media marketing. The Internet has made us change how we buy, explore, research. With Jeff Bezos founding Amazon in 1994, the world changed. How customers buy products drastically shifted. Nowadays people do not want to leave their cozy homes to shop when everything is delivered to their doorsteps.

The Truth about Online Consumer (KPMG 2017)
The Truth about Online Consumer (KPMG 2017)

Although the dot-com collapse in 2000 led to many of ecommerce companies disappearing (even Amazon had a hard time before recovering from the loss in 2003), the brick and mortar retailers recognized the advantages of ecommerce and began to add shopping carts to their websites. Walmart, Target are really good examples of how they have retained their position as big retailer giants not only through retail shops but also through selling goods online.

[qodef_blockquote text=”67% of Millennials prefer to shop online rather than in-store ” title_tag=”h5″ width=”100″]

But there are still many more who are still slow to adapt. Toys ‘R’ Us is one such example, where ecommerce website was revamped in 2017 in hopes of catching up on 10 years of innovation. Toys R Us CEO David Brandon says:

[qodef_blockquote text=”Some organizations recognize faster than others there are shifts in the ways customers want to be communicated with and the way customers want to purchase products. It probably took us a while.” title_tag=”h5″ width=””]

Also, there are some retailers who have still heavily relied on third-party ecommerce stores to sell their product. All of the startups these days start their venture through online shops as it is an easy and economical way to set up your business. Always follow the best practices of ecommerce and it will help you gain more customers.

Benefits of ecommerce websites

  1. Business gets wide exposure through ecommerce website
  2. Round the clock service
  3. Global customers
  4. Easy to manage
  5. Scalable

[qodef_blockquote text=”There are now 3.74 billion Internet users in the world as at March 2017. This is compared to 3.26 billion Internet users in 2016.” title_tag=”h5″ width=”100″]

Another thing big retailers miss out is social media marketing. Social media has become indispensable in our lives, people often check their social media. The social media frenzy isn’t going to end anytime soon and sooner the retailers accept that, the better it is for them.

[qodef_blockquote text=”Social media and messaging accounts for roughly 1 in every 3 minutes users spend on the internet.” title_tag=”h5″ width=”100″]

Retailers have to keep their customers engaged. Having a social media presence without a marketing strategy could be damaging to the business. You need to know your target customers, do all the research you could about the customers or even get an audit done before venturing out in the social media.

Benefits of social media marketing

  1. Brand awareness
  2. Increase traffic to your website
  3. Reach more people
  4. High conversion rate
  5. Increase brand loyalty

Retailers (especially brick and mortar ones who have been in the market for decades) need to keep updating themselves and adapt to new technologies quickly. The further they delay, the harder it will be for them to adapt to a newly emerged business, which will quickly take it over from them without knowing what hit them. There are many stores like Sears, Macy’s, BCBG Maz Azzaria not able to retain their customers but other stores like Walmart, Target, Ikea, Simons have been able to adapt to the new technologies.

What Next

Idea Theorem has recently launched UX Audit services for you to understand where you are missing pieces to gain more user base.

Idea Theorem is Toronto based digital agency which creates simple and usable products for web and mobile. Our human-centered design approach lets us understand your customers, identify their pain points & deliver solutions that enhance their experience with your brand. Contact Us if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you.

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