Is Amazon Killing the Neighborhood Toy Store?

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I was reading some opinions recently on the expanded toy retailing by Amazon.com. Some of those commenting on the article had interesting points to make that I had not considered before.        

Toy-store

To whit:  

1. Buying local keeps the money in your community, employing your neighbors, keeping local businesses healthy that contribute in many ways to the neighborhoods and communities you are a part of.    

2. Local stores utilize local resources, including attorneys, book keepers, accountants, cleaning staff, and repairmen, in addition to their sales force.              

3. Local retailers may pay local sales tax, and they certainly pay state sales tax and property taxes directly or as part of their rents, all of which benefits the community. Online retailers do none of these things, but instead they siphon off jobs, tax revenues, etc. and etc.            

4. And isn’t it great to have a neighborhood toy store? Isn’t your community richer and more interesting for that?            

I do love toy stores. Browsing in them is a form of entertainment for all.  

One thought

  1. My online book store, that I ran for 11 years, is gone thanks to Amazon and others who sell books below cost.
    I opened a brick and mortar store last year and it has become a toy store with books. Amazon is doing the same thing with toys.
    Many customers are only thinking about cost and they want everything cheap. Groupon, Living Social and other daily deal sites are training customers to expect 50% off or more. Advertising is very expensive and doesn’t always work.
    According to comments I’ve read online, customers feel that online is all they need and if local businesses can’t compete they should close their doors and go out of business.
    I guess they never go out to eat, go to a movie or go to other community activities. When you lose your local retail businesses you also impact other businesses and everyone loses.
    Amazon and Wal-Mart can sell below cost for a long time, the rest of us can’t. And they have the power to destroy an industry by selling below cost until they put most of their competition out of business.
    I just did a search for “Melissa and Doug Wooden Toys.” Amazon comes up #2, #3, #4 and #5 on organic search. On their product page (which is mostly ads)they have an ad proclaiming 50% off name brand toys (and of course there is free shipping and no sales tax for many buyers.)
    Click on the link and the first toy listed is $74.99 retail, Amazon’s price $30.14. Second toy is $31.99, Amazon’s price $7.07.
    A small retailer is lucky to get his or her products at 40-50% off plus shipping. We can’t compete.
    Customers come into our stores and complain that we don’t have what they want and they want it now for a party and can’t wait until tomorrow.
    We are in a Catch-22. We can’t stock everything when customers are buying most of their stuff on-line and only come to us when they need something now.
    Part of my business plan is to provide a manager’s job for a wounded warrior or a retired couple to run my store most of the year while I travel, take pictures, write stories and work with kids in the summer. I would come back in October and work in the store for the Christmas rush.
    I want to hire one or two high school students and put them in charge of social media for my store. I would turn them loose to use their brains and creativity to help my store and other local stores compete with Amazon and others who are destroying independent businesses.
    Part of their job would be to train me and other business owners in how to use social media and how to maintain what they create.
    How many kids are without jobs this summer because local businesses can’t get enough business to hire them?
    Amazon doesn’t contribute to my local community. It takes money and gives nothing back except low prices.
    I belong to the BBB, am active in the chamber of commerce, belong to a veterans business group and buy locally.
    Maybe people will catch on when enough small businesses close their doors and their are no local jobs for their children and grandchildren except those paying minimum wage working for a chain store or restaurant.
    Maybe it is time to make “Business 101” a mandatory course in the 9th or 10th grades along with “Surviving On My Own 101” which would teach cooking, balancing a check book, doing laundry, etc to boys and girls who eventually should move out of mommy and/or daddy’s home and take care of themselves.
    Did you move into your first apartment and realize that you had to fill and keep filling your refrigerator? That it didn’t refill itself and it was expensive!
    If our children learn what makes business work and how important it is to their community to have a strong base of local businesses; they will come up with ways to compete with Amazon, Wal-Mart and others who are not putting their community first.
    Ron Nixon
    Owner – RWR Innovations

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