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« Someone Call the Fire Department | Main | Heads Up »

September 29, 2004


Scott Lewis

The hair salon thing isn't so awful an idea, really. In Mexico City I saw a children's salon sort of place that had toys and books and such and special kid friendly chairs so you could sit with your child and play with them while they got a haircut. A neat idea, and located in a very upscale mall. (And located two doors down from a children's formalwear shop. Not even slightly experiential, but a fascinating byproduct of catholicism.)

If Toy's R Us (or anybody) let me sit down and play console videogames before I bought them, I'd drive the extra 25 miles past wal-mart and the local games store to shop there. And I haven't been a kid for 10 years.


I also don't mind the hair salon plan, I take my (nearly) 2-year old to a kid's themed barber, all the distractions make life easier, and it's next to a really nice cafe for my wife and I, but as a whole, I agree.

The principle should be exactly opposite to that of the family restuarants and steakhouses, whose mantra is "get the kids, they'll bring the parents" it's of course the parent's meals and drinks that they make their money off, the kids are the loss-leader.

If the toy shops were clever, they'd do everything they could to attract the parents (lets face it, the kids really are a no-brainer "Calumn, you want a new toy?" is all the encouragment he needs.) Add a nice lunch area next to the playground and I'm laughing.

This is something I'd never really thought about until I read your post. Nice one...!


Who else avoids the toy section at Wal-Mart when they are with their child(ren)? :-)

nellie lide

I agree with you completely about Toys R Us I think they were moving in the right direction. But I do think you might be wrong about comparing it with Barnes and Noble - only because as a parent you feel a lot less guilty taking your child to a bookstore (we do this too) --because you justify it by thinking you are encouraging them to read. and buying a book for your child is not quite like buying them a toy. I did like all your suggetions about in store activities though.


I think that the new Geoffrey stores are a great idea! Stores like Wal-Mart and Target have been taking business away from Toys "R" US, but now Toys "R" US has something that the other competitors can't offer. Our business class has been doing a report on Fortune 500 companies and our research shows that The Toys "R" US chains are losing business and profits. These new changes will surely bring sales up.


I understand the desire to have a fun place for moms and dad but I wonder if you are realizing the scope of what you are saying. Book stores close the book and put it back on the shelf. How does a toy store close 10,000 toys and put back on the shelf. How does the store maintain any order with the scale of play area involved. How does the store protect itself from legal issues when a child strikes someone with a bike or throws a ball. That is why it needs to have only controled days and limited times with specific toys. Parents (not all)allow children to run undisciplined thru the stores now. What would happen if it was a playground. I agree the need to find a way to make it a destination but having a free for all is not the solution. The problem with having an area to play video games is a good one but this also must be controlled because of game ratings and expense of opening games.

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