It Used To Be A Toys ‘R’ Us. Then Amazon Moved In To Launch A New Secret Concept by Inc.com

“It Used To Be A Toys ‘R’ Us. Then Amazon Moved In To Launch A New Secret Concept” | Written By: Chris Matyszczyk / Inc.com

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It Used To Be A Toys ‘R’ Us. Then Amazon Moved In To Launch A New Secret Concept

Amazon was one of the main reasons the toy store is (largely) no more. And now this.

By Chris MatyszczykOwner, Howard Raucous LLC@ChrisMatyszczyk
Can’t stop, won’t stop.
Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

There’s one thing I know you need in your life.

More Amazon.

You simply can’t get enough, can you?

Amazon is the company that solves all your problems and brings the solutions to your door.

How can you not adore it?

Then again, the whole Amazon/Whole Foods thing hasn’t been a vast success.

I get pestered by Amazon all the time to go to its formerly chi-chi grocery store and it’s really quite annoying.

Just because I’m a Prime member doesn’t mean I want to go out of my way to visit a store that doesn’t have anything more than the stores that are much closer.

Never imagine, though, that Jeff Bezos’s company doesn’t have other ideas.

Why, earlier this year I wrote about strong rumors that Amazon was going to open a different type of grocery store under a different brand name.

Well, it seems that America’s suburbs are now humming with preparations.

The Wall Street Journal reports that in the sorts of suburban locations where money lurks and people are often bored, the company is already at work putting together these new stores.

Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia are apparently among the cities that’ll be first to enjoy this latest attempt at grocerial hegemony.

You can be sure this will involve a lot of testing. 

Amazon’s data obsessives will look to see what sells and to whom. And how.

I couldn’t help, though, experiencing a slight choking sensation on learning that one of the locations — in glorious Woodland Hills, California – used to be a Toys “R” Us. 

You see, one of the main reasons Toys “R” Us drifted into the ether of the forgotten — even though it recently emerged from bankruptcy –  was because of Amazon and its Prime-ordial attempts at decimating the retail sector.

Indeed, no sooner was Toys “R” Us disappearing than Amazon began mailing its customers a Toys “R” Us holiday catalog.

Now here it is grinding its boots into the toy store’s memory by moving into one of its old locations in order to offer physical retail.

There is, of course, no guarantee Amazon will be successful. After all, what could it possibly offer that so many other grocery stores can’t? Very little, I fear.

This is merely its attempt to cater to a broader retail audience than Whole Foods ever will.

Then again, having created an absurdly powerful position for itself, Amazon has the money to hedge bets and experiment.

In the Woodland Hills case, the store is said to be 35,000 feet and enjoy an espresso machine and a kitchen. (Oh, that’s new.)

Perhaps soon it’ll be the place people go to get lunch and find their grocery basics.

Perhaps soon it’ll also be the place where people pick up their online orders.

I wonder how many people will remember it was once a Toys “R” Us. 

And I wonder how many will care.

Published on: Oct 3, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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“It Used To Be A Toys ‘R’ Us. Then Amazon Moved In To Launch A New Secret Concept” | Written By: Chris Matyszczyk / Inc.com
October 3, 2019 at 12:47AM
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