When Charles Lazurus started selling toys in his father's furniture store in the 1950s, he never dreamed how big of a company he would someday have. Decades later, his toy store took in 15% of the $12 billion market share of the toy industry.
Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, the Toys R Us brand experience was unparalleled in the US. Millennials begged their parents to take them to the stores (just to "look around," of course).
Toy R Us had a unique opportunity to follow other brands in rebooting vintage versions of themselves to re-capture this generation of consumers (see: Pepsi, KFC or Nintendo).
Why does nostalgia work so well with millennials? Because positive reminders from our past feels good. And millennials are feelers. We respond to our emotions, especially when it comes to purchasing decisions.
"When we feel or care for something, we’re much more likely to act," writes Forbes contributor Lauren Friedman. "Share a compelling blast from the past with a millennial, and you’re likely to reach them on an emotional level — the holy grail of brand marketing."
Unfortunately for the thousands of employees now facing unemployment, Toys R Us didn't react to the changing trends of millennial parents.