7 Lessons on Second Chances
You are not living in a world that wants to give second chances. At best, you will find them scarcely in life, rarely in business, and seldom in retail. Having said that, have you heard that Toys-R-Us may be coming back to retail? Let’s choose to believe that this plan comes to fruition. Let’s also believe that you are aware of this former powerhouse retailer. I certainly am. I have been following the saga of the retail economy in America for decades, and I passionately believe in a brighter future for retailers who understand their roles and responsibilities in today’s landscape and have a passion for succeeding.
There are several examples of retailers that found a second life online (Service Merchandise – Bankruptcy-1999, but closed in 2002; Filene’s Basement – Bankruptcy-2011; American Apparel – Bankruptcy-2017; Sharper Image –Bankruptcy-2018; Linens ‘n Things – Bankruptcy-2008). Moreover, there is Circuit City, where I happen to have a great deal of personal experience. They filed for bankruptcy in 2008, with a planned revival of their online business, but their physical presence is expected to be a store-within-a-store business model.
Ironically, the only other relevant example of a real second chance at retail is another toy retailer, FAO Schwarz. They closed their doors in 2015 and resurfaced November 2018 at a new location in Manhattan, and at a smaller outpost in LaGuardia airport. Regarding Toys-R-Us, their weaknesses were their fundamentals. Bankrupt in 2017, they closed the last of their locations in 2018. Though many were sad, few were surprised. However, now with a stated intent to return to retail for the 2019 holiday shopping season, we have a fantastic opportunity to learn, in real-time, if the former retail giant has mastered the 7 lessons on second chances.