We can only blame eCommerce so much for the demise of traditional, brick and mortar toy retailers like KB (RIP 2008), and of course, Toys R Us (RIP March 2018).
Beyond the Amazon Effect, there is another challenge for toy and game retailers that deserves some attention – the transition from board games and physical toys to digital play experiences. Online and app-based games, which can be accessed virtually anywhere with the touch of a button (or touchscreen) seem to have taken over.
When online gaming and apps first started to gain popularity, there were probably some missed opportunities for retailers to maintain their physical presence in this new era of digital entertainment, gaming and shopping.
A clear disruptor in this already disrupted market has emerged – the melding of amusement park-like features and “toy laboratories” that create immersive, interactive, toy-based experiences that simply cannot be traded in for a tablet device (kudos to Build A Bear, American Girl and LEGO). What would this model have looked like for a retailer like KB or Toys R Us? Sure, the approach is capital intensive, but such reinvention could have provided enough reason for children to ask their parents to take them to the toy store to walk among life-size action figures, or repurpose their broken toys into something new.
In fact, many customers today are filling the Toys R Us void with visits to the American Girl Store, Build A Bear Workshop, and LEGO stores. In a post-Toys R Us world, new players are also jumping in to meet the demand for physically present toy experiences.
Party City has 50 “Toy City” pop-up stores ready for the holiday season. Target has allocated half a million square feet of additional space for toys. Those two examples are opportunistic and not necessarily sustainable for the long term. Future success will come from new ways of creating exciting and immersive environments as current digital options provide. Augmented and virtual reality are already working to create that type of interactive in-store experience.
While I started off discussing the demise of traditional toys and games, clearly there are plenty of customers who seek them out, and a handful of innovative retailers who recognize the demand is still there. It’s a matter of changing perspective and building a unique experience.
This same kind of innovative thinking can be applied to retail for all age groups. An iterative innovation approach will guide how your brand gets ahead of the curve and crafts a physical consumer-based experience around your business.
Meanwhile, take a few minutes this holiday season to play a board game or two with the young ones around you. They may even enjoy the experience so much that they decide to table their tablets. (At least for a few hours).
November 29, 2018
Written by Manish Patel
In this week's Marketing Insight, CEO Tom Sullivan shares a ten-minute talk about his unique approach to developing… https://t.co/7yaFXSnx8Z
January 10 - 10:41 am - View on Twitter
There's still time to "gift" back this holiday! Check out our top 10 cause-based picks for the undecided shopper. https://t.co/HpVeLNHuGn
December 18 - 10:20 am - View on Twitter
In this week’s Marketing Insight, CEO Tom Sullivan puts a spotlight on five successful, inspiring companies whose c… https://t.co/ZEWZw42Okq
December 13 - 1:32 pm - View on Twitter
In this week’s Marketing Insight, CEO Tom Sullivan shares some personal reflections on how to respond to today’s of… https://t.co/43WRKaYkI5
December 6 - 12:06 pm - View on Twitter
In this week’s Marketing Insight, Director of Brand Innovation, Manish Patel, discusses the impact of digital gamin… https://t.co/fYfSgLRRCk
November 29 - 11:09 am - View on Twitter
At PPI, we love all things spooky. Check out our Halloween Video for a creepy treat! https://t.co/tKQHPyuvpm
October 31 - 9:33 am - View on Twitter
In this week’s Marketing Insight, Director of Brand Innovation, Manish Patel, shares a personal anecdote that sheds… https://t.co/xc9uCVFHFK
October 11 - 1:50 pm - View on Twitter
CEO Tom Sullivan discusses several approaches for developing an informed, data-driven content strategy to boost the… https://t.co/0Nbz61DCd9
September 27 - 12:15 pm - View on Twitter
In this week's Marketing Insight, CEO Tom Sullivan continues to explore what we can learn from FAANG's Walled Garde… https://t.co/JeUvsfcDSb
September 19 - 11:30 am - View on Twitter
In this week's Marketing Insights, CEO Tom Sullivan discusses the Walled Garden approach that FAANG companies, and… https://t.co/vRDzMWoAs9
September 12 - 10:26 am - View on Twitter
In this week's Marketing Insights, Associate Creative Director, Tim Burr, discusses how a focused approach to marke… https://t.co/5loRgrFdUS
September 5 - 11:44 am - View on Twitter
Check out our last installment of our Voice "mini-camp" series where VP of Marketing and Media Strategy, Chris Sull… https://t.co/6yxEmeYu9G
August 30 - 10:13 am - View on Twitter
In our third Voice Marketing Insight, VP of Marketing & Media Strategy, Chris Sullivan, explores how marketers can… https://t.co/vjHPQEcWbe
August 16 - 10:50 am - View on Twitter
VP of Marketing & Media Strategy, Chris Sullivan, discusses the importance of persona development and Audio Identit… https://t.co/fYSbIZGLED
August 7 - 11:41 am - View on Twitter
In the first Insight of a "mini-camp" series on voice marketing, VP of Marketing & Media Strategy, Chris Sullivan,… https://t.co/tFgqjVh11C
July 31 - 2:05 pm - View on Twitter
CEO Tom Sullivan explores the recent succession of CEOs in the Fiat Chrysler Automotive and Ferrari families, and h… https://t.co/yIoeSKdhov
July 24 - 10:05 am - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/eFFLCk7uYn on #Podbean
July 23 - 4:02 pm - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/D9dl82LjkP on #Podbean
July 23 - 3:52 pm - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/lP2wak0fVg on #Podbean
July 23 - 3:42 pm - View on Twitter
Check out my latest #podcast https://t.co/v4k2ukp4TA on #Podbean
July 23 - 3:42 pm - View on Twitter