Many of those who do business with Toys "R" Us do not love it. Talk to them and you will find that out.
Yes, they care for and about the people who work there but not the institution. Toys "R" Us is a company that demands more of its suppliers than it asks and punishes more than it rewards. Too many costly penalties, too many requests for markdowns and too many threats to cancel suppliers for lack of compliance have ended with a bankruptcy that sticks those same suppliers with the bill.
Now that word is out via the Wall Street Journal that Toys "R" Us is planning to close another 200 stores we are finding a chain that will be half the size it was a year ago. More stores may be on the block as well which means that Toys "R" Us has moved from being the 800 lb. gorilla in the ring to a middle weight just trying to stay in the ring. Toys "R" Us needs love and it needs loyalty and, to the most part, it is simply not there.
It is more than time for Toys "R" Us to move past the adversarial nature of its supplier relationships and towards a more transparent and nurturing business culture of supplier engagement. Its not going to be easy for a company that has always swaggered but it is going to be essential to size down its ego to match its current status.
A change in business culture will not be easy to create much less apply and it may be too late to create friends with an industry that is already moving on. Change, however, it must. Yes, Toys "R" Us has major economic challenges but long-term survival may ultimately depend upon the good will of the toy industry.