Amazon eyes up Toys R Us locations

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Amazon never misses a trick. With news that Toys R Us are in administration, it’s hardly a surprise that their significant portfolio of store locations around the world is of interest to other retailers. And Amazon, with those deep pockets, is reportedly in pole position when it comes to taking some of the premises on.

In the US, of the 700 locations there only the best 200 haven’t yet been let go. The Canadian business is still up for sale and there been closures and redundancies in the UK too already. As we recently reported, they are also liquidating stock in the UK.

What does this mean for merchants? In the first instance it suggests Amazon really is serious about expanding bricks and mortar operations in the US, UK and beyond. That could mean a focus on groceries, which a significant expansion of Whole Foods. Or it could also mean Amazon Go shops, the cashier less supermarkets that they have pioneered in Seattle so far with reasonable success.

And any such facilities could also play host to Amazon lockers to further streamline click & collect. Anything that expedites delivery and fulfilment for merchants will be be welcome. They could also provide mini-hubs for FBA and Amazon Fulfilment, and maybe drones in due course. And, if the rumours are true and Amazon is increasingly looking to develop its own fully-fledged delivery network, perhaps even its very own global postal network, then such locations would form part of that.

Toys R Us had 100 outlets in the UK. And the enormous global network goes some way to explain why, as it continuously failed to develop a meaningful ecommerce operation of its own, or seriously embrace the marketplaces (it could have made a splash on Amazon!), it is now bust and not considered a viable future business. We’ll keep you posted as to whether Amazon embrace what is a unique opportunity to grow swiftly.

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