Thursday, August 12, 2004

Geoffrey the Giraffe's Possible Demise?

In the late 1970's, the first Toys 'R' Us store opened near Seattle's Southcenter. As a giraffe nut, I joined all the kids in line at 6 a.m. for a chance to meet Geoffrey and get into the store early. I acquired a huge quantity of stuff with Geoffrey's image on them, most of which are in a box in the garage. One cute little purse serves as my daughter's tzadakeh fund holder and we do use a set of small, plastic juice cups.
Since then, I went to Toys 'R' Us as a mom, buying lots of toys for bribes and incentives over the years. They had the best assortment of Barbies and Polly Pockets and were an awesome source of birthday party gifts. The impulse buying area in the maze when you enter the door was always a dangerous area for me!
Their system broke down at checkout (much like Lowes) where they do a great marketing and merchandising job, but have few clerks at the large number of checkout counters. I left lots of stuff in carts as I could not tolerate the long waits, particularly with a kid in tow. When they sold through Amazon, I bought via that route. Anything to avoid going to stand in line and to not have to go to Walmart.
It is sad to think that this icon may possibly demise. Perhaps Geoffrey can be kept alive with Babies 'R' Us, but this is a sad statement about our enterprise system, when Walmart just wins by being the biggest. And that does not even consider the fact that FAO Schwartz and KB Toys are already virtually gone.