Dale Hudson on What the Church Can Learn From the Toys R Us Relaunch

As you may or may not know, Toys R’ Us closed down all of their stores in the U.S.  I wrote an article about why I believe they had to shut down.  You can read the article here.  From that article, here are some of the reasons why I believe they had to file for bankruptcy.

Lesson 1 – You cannot allow past success to dictate future strategy.

Lesson 2 – The big box is being replaced with smaller venues.

Lesson 3 – Online and on demand. 

Lesson 4 – Families are not just looking for products – they are looking for a shopping experience.

Lesson 5 – Customer service is a critical component of success. 

I believe # 4 is the biggest reason they had to close down.  I think they understand this now, because they are reopening a few stores with lots of #4.  They are seeking to make shopping at Toys R’ Us an experience for families.

Listen to what Richard Barry,  president and CEO of Toys R’ Us is saying.

We know that customers love shopping as a means of entertainment.  That’s something built into the DNA of human beings.  We also know that kids and families are looking for things to do on the weekends or when school is out. We know that parents and families really value play and the value of toys overall.  As we thought about the strategy, we wanted to put all of those things together.

Their new strategy is to make Toys R’ Us not just a store, but a hands-on, engaging experience for kids and their parents.  A place of interactive spaces where kids and parents can play with toys.  There will be interactive displays, video games, and other engaging items in the new stores.

There will also be a huge tree-house in the middle of the store that kids will be able to climb into and play in.

They are also downsizing their 40,000-square-feet stores into smaller stores that are about 6,500 square feet.  We talked about this in the article.  Look at #2.

What can the church learn from this reopening?  Here are couple of biggies…

Churches that want to attract and reach young families must make church an experience.  Look for ways you can give families the opportunity to make memories together.  Have interactive play pieces that families can play together before or after the service.  Consider installing an indoor or outdoor play ground area.  Serve hot dogs or other snacks for families after the service in these areas.  An example would be to have ice cream for families after the service in the summer.  Or maybe it’s hot chocolate and cookies after the service in the winter months.