No store is immune to the shift of consumer shopping from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to the online world.
The latest retailer to fall victim to this sales trend is Toys”R”Us. This past Friday (Feb. 17), the retail toy giant laid off 10–15 percent (250 positions total) of its corporate staff at its Wayne, New Jersey headquarters. As more consumers choose to shop online rather than in physical store locations, the trend of retailers shrinking their staff size may continue.
These corporate layoffs come just before the toy industry’s annual convention and after a less-than-stellar Q4 performance where sales weren’t up to snuff. In the final quarter of 2016, Toys”R”Us’ U.S. stores saw a 2.5 percent decline, while overseas locations’ sales fell by 4.9 percent. Due to the convenience of online shopping and quick home delivery, more parents are turning to retailers’ websites to order their children’s toys for the holiday season.
The Wall Street Journal quoted Toys”R”Us spokeswoman Amy von Walter, who spoke about the evolution of today’s consumer and how the company is working towards matching that trend. She said: “We, like many other retailers, must continually look for opportunities to work more efficiently and effectively, particularly as customer shopping patterns are evolving. The recent changes are not just about cost containment — our growth plans require us to have the right structure, talent and determination to transform our business and achieve the financial objectives we’ve set for the company.”
With consumer shopping trends increasingly moving over to online sales, retailers are looking for ways to innovate in their physical locations. Considering this sizable layoff by Toys”R”Us, it appears that the retail giant is seeking to maintain its status as the go-to source for children’s favorite toys.