More than $ 7 billion in toy sales are being redistributed throughout the industry after Toys R Us closes its sale and closes more than 700 stores, including several in the St. Louis area.
Local toy retailers and specialty shops are hoping that some of this money will flow into their coffers.
"There is definitely a chance for us," said Shawnta Ray, owner of Happy Up Inc., which has two toy shops in the area in Clayton and Edwardsville. "Something we need to understand is that not only is there a real toy shop in the area, there are thousands of independent toy shops across the country, and there are four or five in St. Louis."
According to a survey Nearly 1
Slightly more than 11 percent of the broader buyers of toys They searched for toys or games in independent toy stores, with 10.4 percent actually buying products from these stores in the last 12 months.
"The hope is that it will benefit us," said Tom Berry, who along with his wife Kristin, owns the Frisco Train Store at Valley Park, which specializes in toy trains, tracks and accessories.
Local retailers, however, will have to wait for the liquidation sale of Toys R Us, which could last until June, giving buyers tempting sales for more than three months. Toys R Us also operates Babies R Us shuttering after liquidation sales.
"Liquidations do not help, so we could crunch a bit in the short term," Ray said. "But in the long run, it should bring a flood of people to look for a toy store."
Idanna Smith, President of the Good Toy Group, a cooperative of independent toy shops of which Happy Up is a member The marketing offensive is going to attract more customers
"There is a chance, and for every small business, when the opportunity presents itself, you need to figure out how to get your share," she said. "We're all trying to figure out the best ways to talk to consumers."
Smith said instead of marketing to people in a certain radius relative to their business, maybe toy store owners "look where the nearest toy R Us is to them and a bit further" than they normally do.
Ray said she plans to be more aggressive with marketing campaigns may start new product launches and increase the number of events aimed at bringing children and their parents through the door. When customers go in, Ray says, they enjoy their experience and return.
"Because we're relatively small, we have the ability to quickly adapt to our customers' needs, and every year our business may need to diverge," she said. "We also offer free gift wrappers and we generally know our customers so we can better find toys for their kids."
While some consumers spend more money in local stores, a more likely scenario is bringing many shoppers to relocate other retail giants, such as Walmart, Amazon, and Target, all of whom are taking big steps to capture the Toys R Us business.
"Someone will fill that void," Smith said. It's not like they did not do the business, they just did not do the business plan well, so Target will be right there, and Walmart will, and I expect Amazon will do anything. " in their power to fill this gap as well.
Coresight research also said dollar stores, department stores, eBay and Costco were also able to capture some of those toy-buying dollars.
"There are many balls in the air right now in terms of how the Economy will shake it off, "said Jennifer Labit, founder and CEO of Cotton Babies, a supplier of cloth diapers, which also operates a retail store selling children's toys and baby equipment such as car seats or strollers.
Cotton Babies recently opened its retail store Town and Country closed and relocated to its headquarters in Fenton, where the operation can be streamlined and the company expanded its scope for more classes, group meetings and matchdays
Labit Sai d Babies R Us, with two locations in the region, was one of the biggest customers Cotton Babies, and the closures would lead to sales losses that would have to be offset elsewhere Babies is also a supplier to Target and Walmart, among other major box retailers.
The company is also expanding its product offering to include more toiletries and adult care products.
"We will postpone our strategy, and I expect there will be more shifts in the future, where and how people go shopping," she said. "If the liquidation sale ends, we will act more aggressively to capture this business."
The biggest chance for Cotton Babies lies in the register segment, Labit said.
According to the latest annual report of Toys R Us Babies R Us registry business had more than 23 million registrants since launching a few decades ago. And a CNBC report said that about 100,000 active babies would be eligible for R Us registries.
"This is the game we need to have as registers grow and our goal is to capture these registries for Cotton Babies," she said ,