With Toys ‘R’ Us closing, including the Babies ‘R’ Us banner, consumer products targeting parents of children ages 0-10 are scrambling to mitigate losing a major revenue stream.
That said, in our firm’s history in working with some of the world’s largest baby and kid brands, there are a few things we’ve seen to help brands become retailer-proof—or at least minimize the impact of any single retailer disaster.
1. Take the Power Back
Brands need to double-down on building, growing, and modernizing their CRM program with a focus on email and direct-to-consumer models, not social. Owning your consumer’s contact info, digital identity, and permission to communicate with them directly is enormously valuable to drive actual sales.
2. Playground Pop-Ups
Brands should rent their own retail space for a short time in major markets in the form of experiential pop-ups to showcase the full portfolio of products, test new products, and partner with other non-competitive brands.
3. Make Physical Shopping Fun Again
Baby and toy shopping at other retailers is boring. With so much volume being purchased online, the products you do keep at the existing physical retailers better be engaging, interactive, and fun.
4. Strengthen eCommerce Relationships and Performance
Optimize your SEO, PLAs, sponsored items, ratings, and reviews, and utilize methods to raise your products to the top of retailers’ pages.
5. Find Alternative Channels to Market
Brands should build partnerships with companies in the Hospitality, Travel & Tourism, and Child Care industries where brands’ products get into the hands of parents and kids to experience and enjoy while delivering added value to the partners.
Whenever there are disruptions in the supply chain, brands are forced to consider new ways to mitigate risk. In this case, the disruption downstream with retailers is going to continue, so it’s time for brands to take the power back and control their own destiny.