As you can see from this post, I am not surprised that Toys R Us is closing. While it may leave a void, in that it was a large toy retailer that had a lot of shelf space dedicated to toys, it is the potential loss of Babies R Us that has me more worried.
While a lot of people shop online for toys, many have primarily shopped at local retailers like Target or Walmart.
However, those stores don’t have as much space devoted to toys. Local independent toy stores are amazing, but often have more speciality or luxury toys than products from Mattel or Hasbro. (The latter often being more popular.) Regardless, parents could usually get what they needed. Plus, worst case scenario, you ordered it online.
Yet, when it comes to baby gear, Babies R Us (Toys R Us being the parent company) was THE place to get baby gear and have a baby registry. They had the most space devoted to baby gear and even had it displayed as such. Whether it was a late night stop to get diapers, a new bottle, nipples, pacifier, burp cloth, or the stops to get something to help baby sleep at night, everyone around my area went to Babies R Us. It was also the primary place to register too.
Hands on Parenting
You didn’t have to wait for two day shipping and you could touch, see, feel, try out the stroller or baby item before you bought. Something still necessary even in this modern day shop-online-mentality we all have.
As a first time parent however, it is even more essential to see what you are buying before you buy it as you don’t know what to shop for. You rely on store employees, walking the store, checking things out and trying everything to see if it is right for you and your baby. It was also a place to get (and try on maternity clothes), get baby portraits and a lot more. While Walmart in the Northwest and Target offer Baby departments, they were never as large and carried as many brands as Babies R Us.
There always local, independent baby stores. However, they often cater to higher price points. The more luxury strollers are the options, for example, and not brands like Graco.
As of the time of the post, TRU is still hoping someone will at least pick up the Babies R Us brand. I hope someone does. Amazon doesn’t provide the hands on needs new parents require – and other retailers are just not large enough to stock all the items that Babies R Us did.
For all the future new parents, I hope Babies R Us lasts until adulthood.