Is Toys “R” Us headed for e-commerce sidelines?
Heavyweight brick-and-mortar retailers, with their deep pockets, stand the best chance of weathering the current e-tail purge, but some of them could discover it’s not worth the trouble. Powerhouses such as Walt Disney, Hollywood Entertainment and Levi Strauss have eased themselves out of the e-tail game after their online stores foundered. Stalwart retailers such as Wal-Mart, Staples and Sears, Roebuck have invested big money in their Net divisions, and all have yet to show a profit. The latest example of a large, traditional retailer marching toward the e-commerce sidelines is Toys “R” Us. The nation’s largest toy merchant turned over most of its Web operations to Amazon.com when the two companies agreed to create a co-branded Web site, they announced last week. “Nobody has come up with the absolute perfect formula to sell online,” said Toys “R” Us spokeswoman Rebecca Caruso. “But we are committed to selling online. Toys ‘R’ Us and Amazon will be everywhere our customers are.” With p