30 Mar R.I.P. Geoffrey the Giraffe
1,758 locations to close worldwide. It’s a sad day for many of us Toys ‘R us kids.
One thing is for sure I am confident that jingle will occupy space in my head for a long time to come, even as they drift off into the archives of retailers that once were.
Thursday, many of the Toys R’ Us stores hit the auction blocks, and while the giant toy retailer will walk softly into the night, much of its real estate will find a new life.
Aldi, Target, Big Lots are just a few of the retailers making plays at the vast real estate network that was once America’s favorite toy store (I’ll always be impartial to FAO Schwartz, but then again, Toys R’ Us bought them at one point) I read several additional articles of this topic in preparation for today’s blog post. Last week’s article speculated that the liquidation would bring out Amazon who was noticeably absent from the bidding, the real questions is were they? While they did not give comment, perhaps they are looking at a bigger play as last week’s article suggest, not just picking out the great spots, but gobble them up in one foul swoop? I guess only time will tell but one thing is certain, Amazon will continue to evolve, we may not recognize it in the years to come, with drone delivery technology, video monitored oversized vending machines, virtual keys to homes, and who knows what else? Only top insiders could say what their plans are but they do include physical retails space. I’m sure George Orwell would be paying this plenty of attention or at least his estate is.
It was speculated upon early in the week that POTUS wasn’t a huge fan of the e-retailer and later he confirmed as much. However, if some of his concerns stem from his real estate background, then shouldn’t he be excited for them to take a more physical seat in our nation?
The purchasing of Whole Foods was a big step, the distribution centers continue pop up around every state, maybe Amazon is preparing to stop using the USPS as a delivery mechanism all together.
It’s always a little sad to watch a retailer die, but it also almost always opens the door for something new for us all to get attached to.
Thank you for reading, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the topic, so please comment, email or call!
Kees Janeway – Managing Partner, ICONIC Real Estate
Read last week’s most read article, Amazon Could Acquire Toys ‘R’ Us. Here’s Why It’s a Brilliant Move, from Inc. from 3/20/18 here.