Toys "R" Us CEO Jerry Storch has taken a light saber to the idea that the future belongs to the Internet and that big box retailers are doomed to irrelevance. In a presentation titled "Episode III: The Stores Strike Back," Storch discussed how the successful brands will be those with a consumer-facing network across all channels, and how Toys "R" Us is leveraging its strengths, including its store base, to grow and thrive over the long term.
"While there has been much focus on online-only shopping – and our own e-commerce sites have grown to a $1 billion business – the reality is that the vast majority of sales still occur in physical stores," said Storch. "The successful brands will be those who offer the best products and services across all channels. As an omni-channel leader, Toys "R" Us is intensely focused on integrating stores, Internet, mobile, social and local components, and leveraging our many operational assets to offer new services is an ongoing strategic initiative. To compete in this changing world, retailers must be aggressive and seize the day!"
Toys "R" Us' omni-channel strategy utilizes its store base, distribution centers, e-commerce business, mobile platform and social networking sites to bring products and information to its customers. Speaking at the Shop.org Annual Summit, Storch unveiled advancements to the retailer's omni-channel offerings that further position it at the forefront of omni-channel retailing. Toys "R" Us continues to invest in its store network to promote interaction with the brand and improve the store experience.
The retailer will roll out "Ship to Store" this fall, allowing customers to ship select online purchases to local Toys "R" Us or Babies "R" Us stores free of charge. Enhancements to the "Buy Online, Pick Up In Store" program will also be available this fall, including merchandise pick up kiosks to streamline the in-store pick up process.
"Ship to Store." Beginning in October, customers can take advantage of a new complimentary shipping offer on Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com, "Ship to Store." When shopping online, customers will have the option to select "Free Ship to Store" on eligible items and have their order delivered to the local store of their choice in 7 to 14 days.
In-Store Merchandise Pick Up Locations. The retailer is introducing new merchandise pick up kiosks at all Toys "R" Us and Side-by-Side stores. The kiosks allow customers to scan the barcode on their order confirmation e-mail printout or on the screen of their smartphone, and a store associate will retrieve the order, bring it to the kiosk and help to complete the purchase.
My Store. The new "My Store" feature on Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com provides customers with visibility to inventory of the store nearest to them.
"Ship from Store." To leverage inventory from stores nationwide and improve the speed that customers receive their online order, "Ship from Store" allows the retailer to expand its e-commerce assortment without the addition of inventory to its distribution centers.
Mobile, Social, Local. Smartphone savvy customers have the ability to shop the company's mobile-optimized e-commerce sites and take advantage of its dedicated Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us apps for iPhone, iPad or Android to view weekly advertisements, deals and more. In addition, Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us are connected to over four million fans on their official Facebook pages where they provide information on new product introductions, value offerings and more.
For related content: