business news in context, analysis with attitude

On the subject of troubled being experienced by Toys R Us, MNB fave Glen Terbeek wrote:

The government says that a company is too big to fail.

My experience is that a company becomes too big to succeed.  While I was working with large retail clients, one of the most amusing comments that I would hear in some form or the other is "Ya but we can't do that, we're too big".

A retailer that grows their organizations to be more important than the local store, is when they run into problems. I also would always ask, "Who is responsible for the local market performance of each store?"  Again after some discussion the answer would always be, "We all are, but no one person really is."

Most breakthrough innovation comes from small companies, unencumbered by risk adverse, functional organizations measured inappropriately.   Which brings me to the other quote which I often heard, "What a great idea, who else is doing it?"

Enough said.

From another MNB user:

My son has long ago abandoned Toys R Us as the place to get his Lego sets (some of which are quite pricey!) because even tho they have it on sale, and their website says a particular store has it in stock, once he gets there they no longer have it, or never even stocked it in the first place. He has learned, at the tender age of 12,( he is now 16), to never go there again. It`s o.k., since in my opinion he has enough Lego`s (he inherited mine) but Lego`s has cleverly gone to sets and so still has him hooked.

And from another MNB user:

As a mother of four kids between the ages of 3 and 9, I'm in the target demographic for Toys R Us, and yet, every time I step foot into one of their stores, I wish I hadn't. Incompetent staff who don't care, higher prices than other stores, and a horrible return policy all make Toys R Us the last place I want to visit. The bottom line is that I try to avoid shopping there at all costs. I'm not sure there is anything Toys R Us could do to induce me to shop there again. IMO, good riddance if they do close for good.

Which leads naturally into this email, from another MNB user about Michael Sansolo’s column this week about the importance of front line employees:

Michael hit the nail on the head with his front line people statements.  People always complain about automated phone answering.  Corporations like banks, supermarkets, and retailers in general put the lowest paid people in contact with customers and few train them for proper interaction.  I still feel this lack of human interaction at the cash register is one of the problems Fresh and Easy faces.  Faster check out, yes.  No human face, no.  It is a losing proposition.  It is the human interaction that creates the “face” and memories that will drive the customer away or bring them back.
KC's View: