retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Internet Retailer reports that Toys R Us is joining the march of retailers providing in-store pick-up services for products purchased from its website.

According to the story, both Toys R Us and its Babies R Us division will promise consumers that they can “buy any of more than 7,500 items online and pick them up in 260 Babies ‘R’ Us and select Toys ‘R’ Us bricks-and-mortar stores in such major U.S. metropolitan areas as Boston, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The retailer will guarantee that the products will be available within two hours ... and will indicate on product pages whether a product is eligible for in-store pickup. After a consumer enters her ZIP code, the site will present the five nearest stores with the product in stock.”
KC's View:
I sense a bit of world-weary, “we’ve seen this all before” attitude coming from the folks at Internet Retailer. (And I approve. Most of us actually have seen this stuff before...the only question is whether we remember it.)

The story notes that “in focusing on fast pickup, Toys R Us is following the lead of Circuit City, which offered a 24-minute guarantee before the retail chain went bankrupt, as well as Sears Holdings Corp.’s current five-minute guarantee.”

We’ll see what kind of fulfillment Toys R Us is capable of. I do know this - I wish these kinds of services had been available back in the days when my kids were little and we used to shop in such places. Because I have to tell you, I viewed a trip to Toys R Us with roughly the same joy as I view visits to the proctologist.