Tonight we were like the thousands of people all over who flocked to Toys "R" Us to use our gift cards. Before we went tonight all I could think about was the mad dash to spend my son's $150 in birthday money but once I was at the store it really put a face to the end of an era. I could see, while walking up and down the endless aisles, that every parent there was in the same position I was. We were grieving what a huge loss this was going to be.
The young kids that work at Toys "R" Us will move on and find jobs elsewhere but what about the employees that have made this their lives? Tonight there was one store manager (I think) who struck a cord with my husband and I because he was so warm, friendly and genuine. He had a smile on his face even though his future was uncertain. He spent 10 minutes talking to us, in lengthy detail, about how we can go about finding LOL dolls because Toys "R" Us is still getting shipments in and it's "business as usual" until they liquidate. He gave us his name, Bruce, and told us to call and ask for him if we want to come back tomorrow and look for the dolls. He also explained that their other store manager took such pride in his job that he would purposely hold toys aside for when working parents came in on the weekends. He didn't think it was fair to put it all out during the week to have people buy up all the good toys/deals and not give working parents a shot at it. He created his own Instagram account for the Lake Grove, NY store so that he could highlight their inventory and not make people have to drive out of their way if they didn't have the toy that person was looking for. This was operated more like a small business that wanted to please the community rather than a large faceless operation. At the end of our conversation Bruce said something to me that really struck a cord, he said, "Where will kids shop for toys now?" and I thought to myself he is right! Is this something else where kids will just sit behind a computer screen and pick things out rather than have a real life experience? I am all for the ease of shopping at places like Amazon but I grew up having real life experiences. One other little nugget Bruce told me was that Amazon started selling Toys "R" Us toys when the two were in a partnership together. Toys "R" Us didn't like the many complaints customers made about Amazon (due to damaged toys and long shipping periods) and they pulled out of the partnership. Also, Amazon started selling toys from other companies as well which Toys "R" Us didn't like and that was the end of that. Isn't it just twisted fate that Amazon is essentially what put Toys "R" Us out of business?
I'm here for you new moms....let's not get so lost in the Toys "R" Us part and forget about the Babies "R" Us part. If you set up your registry there can't you remember going up and down the aisles and shooting at things for that future little nugget growing in your bell? That was all part of the excitement of getting everything ready for his/her arrival. Now what? Who else has so many stores and such a large part of their stores dedicated to just babies?
I know this is all part of life, things come and things go, but who ever thought there would be no more toy stores? This, my friends, is where we all grow up....even if we don't want to.