As Toys “R” Us Prepares to Close – What’s a Toy Shopper to Do?
As you’ve probably heard, after seven decades in business, Toys “R” Us will be closing its doors forever after seven decades. Whether you’ve wandered the aisles or their website for the perfect gift or set your kids loose in a nearby Toys “R” Us store, you probably have your own fond memories of the toys-only superstore.
So now that Toys “R” Us is closing, what is a toy shopper to do?
Use those gift cards asap
In an article published by USA Today on March 15th, Toys “R” Us will honor gift cards for 30 days. If you’re like me and discover a few TRU gift cards lying around, the time to use them is now. Because I didn’t have any toys I needed to buy, I went to their site and ordered a couple of staple games to keep on hand for a family game night.
Hit the sales
As Toy “R” Us attempts to liquidate its stock, consumers can take advantage of sales, both in-store and online. Pickings will thin as each day passes, but such is the case with any liquidation.
If you score a great deal on the TRU site, don’t assume that it’s for real until your merchandise ships. One shopper told me that after she completed her order, she received an email indicating that the item she ordered was out of stock.
Buy gift cards
If you plan to visit your local TRU store or ToysRUs.com, save even more by shopping with a discounted TRU gift card from GiftCardGranny.com, a site I work with. As I write this, TRU gift cards are discounted more than 20%, which means that by shopping with one of these cards, you automatically save yourself an extra 20%. My guess is that consumers will be trying to offload their unwanted TRU cards so they will be yours for the taking!
For toys with a warranty, especially for a big-ticket item, like a game console or high-end remote control vehicle, ask a salesperson what the policy is. Is the manufacturer warranty still valid after TRU shutters its doors? Is there an extended warranty available? Your credit card might also offer protection, but it’s good to ask your credit card provider beforehand.
TRU sister store, Babies “R” Us, is closing as well. If you have a registry there, USA Today reports that the registry and online store will remain open for now. If a buyer purchases that arm of the business, it could remain open, however, current registrants might want to consider also registering for their necessities at competitors, like Buy Buy Baby, Target or Walmart.
Where to shop?
So what now? If you were a regular TRU shopper, it’s time to re-think how and where you shop for toys. I would suggest checking out your local mom and pop toy store. One that I like in my town is Sunshine Sam, which specializes in well-made battery-free toys, fun kids’ activities and stellar customer service. You may wonder why you never visited your local toy store before now.
For a broad selection of mass market toys, check out your local big box store, like Walmart, Target, Kmart, JCPenney, etc. or their websites. And there’s always Amazon.