Better East Texas: Demise of ToysRUs not just about online competition

(KLTV) - Giant toy retailer Toys R Us announced they will likely be closing all of its retail locations. We have seen the decline of big box retailers since the dawn of the digital age. In essence, more people were buying products on-line, often cheaper than they could buy at Kmart or Sears, thus these retailers with expensive overhead and vast inventory fall victim to the convenience of ordering online.

So, is Toy R Us, the next victim of this or is it something bigger?  Recent data suggests that not only are online retailers grabbing market share, but toy sales in 2017 were down.  Hasbro and Mattel both posted sales declines.  So, why those declines?  Is the Toys R Us struggle as much a reflection of a society that is moving away from toys and toy-related activities and more towards a video game, digital centric experience for children?

Health stats in US children would support that notion as well.  We, as a country, have slowly let the digital age creep in and rob our children of physical activity, resulting in a lethargic existence. Now, it hasn't happened in all families, but it sure appears to be the case with many. Kids need to be pried away from the game console, shoved outside – maybe even barefoot and challenged to get active. It may not save Toys R Us, but it may save our next generation by inspiring them to use their imagination, indoors and out, while not collecting dust in front of a gaming console, and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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