5 Retailers Cashing In On The Fall of Toys R Us

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

In the first holiday shopping season post-Toys R Us, retailers are vying to fill the void and become Millennial parents’ go-to spot to shop for toys…

The holiday season is upon us, and Millennial parents are looking for somewhere to shop for their kids. According to our Pre-Holiday Shopping Topline, 84% of 18-36-year-old parents plan on shopping for the holidays this year, and 53% will be buying games or toys—and it won’t be at Toys R Us. Even though the retailer did everything in their power to keep their doors open, including rethinking brick and mortar by creating an AR app experience in their stores, they couldn’t stop their downhill slide. The company reported a loss of $36 million, blaming the “cultural shift” fueled by apps for decreasing their video games and electronics sales, along with competitors’ “discounting spree[s]” over the holidays. So, after their “devastating holiday season” last year, the toy company was forced to officially file liquidation papers and sell or close its more than 700 U.S. stores. Nostalgia-craving Millennials who grew up with the store close to their hearts didn’t take the announcement so well, going online and posting tweets like “RIP Toys R Us. The end of an era,” “So sad. I was a toys r us kid,” and “A whole generation of ToysRUs kids are crying inside right now. Smh.”

But in the midst of Toys R Us’s demise, the toy industry continued to boom. Kidscreen reports that U.S. toy sales jumped 7% in early 2018, with the NPD Group finding that revenue rose to $7.9 billion for the first half of the year. CNBC reports that mourning shoppers nostalgic for the toy giant could be responsible for the revenue hike, and Toys R Us themselves is attempting to come back from the dead with a pop-up wholesale experience for those sentimental shoppers. But they’ll…


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Quote of the Day: “Supernatural is a guilty pleasure show.  While it isn't very consistent in terms of plotline, it’s a fun show with a lovable cast, and it’s ludicrous story keeps you wondering what is next.”—Female, 26, GA

Millennial women are taking over proposing, and looking up ways to pop the question. On Pinterest, “women propose to men ideas” is being searched more than ever, with popularity of the term rising 336% year-over-year. And women aren’t just getting down on one knee to propose to men: the term with the greatest growth from 2017 is “unique lesbian proposals,” which saw a 1,352% rise. Pinterest also found that emerald engagement rings are trending, demonstrating Millennials’ growing interest in non-diamond options. (The Cut)

Dave & Buster’s is positioned to win over experience-loving Millennials. Despite disappointing earnings of late, investors are buying up the experiential restaurant’s stock during its dip because (as one analyst explains) they “believe [Dave & Buster's] can outperform other full-service concepts and drive multiple expansion as it proves itself as a differentiated growth concept.”  Our Experiencification trend backs up their bet, finding that 74% of Gen Z & Millennials would rather spend money on experiences than products. (TheStreet)

Airlines made for Millennials are failing. Air France is thinking about shuttering Joon, their trendy airline, just one year after it took flight. As it turns out, Generation Wanderlust values one thing above amenities like stylish steward outfits and smart tech: value itself. The airlines that are seeing success are budget-friendly first and foremost, like Norwegian Air. ICF Aviation’s SVP sums it up, “What does a [M]illennial want in an airline? A low fare and a good schedule…They don’t want more purple lighting.” (Vox)

Fortnite isn’t just “the most important game of 2018"—it’s “a cultural tsunami.” Nearly 80 million people played the battle royale-style game that’s taking over the internet this year, and over 65% of Fortnite’s players are under-24-years-old. If that’s not enough evidence that brands should cashing in on the craze, celebrities like Drake are playing the game and sports stars like Antoine Griezmann are doing Fortnite’s signature emote dances on the field. (CNET)

Media companies could be under-estimating Nickelodeon’s young fandom. Nielsen reports that two-11-year-olds spent 23 hours each week watching TV in the second quarter of 2018, with almost 15 of those hours taken up by live TV or DVR-recorded content. While Nickelodeon ratings may be down, they’re still the leader of kids’ networks, accounting for 67% of all ad-supported kids’ TV viewing. However, 74% of Millennial parents tell Ypulse that their children watch more content on streaming services than cable. (Bloomberg)

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

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