The iconic toy seller Toys R Us will close down all 800 locations throughout the U.S. after plunging roughly $5 billion dollars in debt. Toys R Us serves as a stark reminder that those who have resisted the shift from brick and mortar business to optimizing their online business, dug their own graves. In fact, the fate of Toys R Us, like so many other companies, is tied back to the rise of the ecommerce juggernaut Amazon. The toy seller chose to outsource their fulfillment to Amazon, which not only helped expedite the transition from physical purchasing to online, but it was a step towards losing control of their own business.
To celebrate his role in their obsolescence, a ski-mask wearing Jeff Bezos, accompanied by his top execs, broke into an abandoned Toys R Us store. Bezos took off his shoes and with a running start, slid in his socks up and down the darkened isles, blasting the Toys R Us jingle. But every time the words “Toys R Us” came on, he was reportedly heard shouting “I’m an Amazon Kid” over the jingle before bursting into maniacal laughter.
After he’d worn himself out sliding around the empty store, a crazy-eyed Bezos lit a small toy-box fire in the middle of an isle and beckoned his executives to gather in a circle. He told them a ghost story about a little boy, who used to come in to Toys R Us. “The boy would always ask his parents to buy him toys, but they never would, instead leaving the child forever longing for an action figure. Well, the boy promised himself that one day he’d buy every toy in the store. Time went on, and the boy became a powerful man. He went back to the store and offered not only to buy every toy, but all of its stores throughout the land. Much like his parents, however, the company refused his offer, so the man vowed from that day forward to make the toy retailer obsolete. And he did,” Bezos said, “and now the boy can buy any toy he wants.”
Shuddering, the Amazon executives realized then that their CEO is the boy, forever haunted by his childhood, forever doomed to try to fill the void of wishes not granted.