The Plural Of Anecdote Is Not Data

2010 September 6
by Dave

A new Toys-R-Us express opened in the shopping center near my house in the last week or two. It went into the space near an empty Circuit City where a discount greeting card store used to be. I assume that this location is temporary and will close after Christmas.

I don’t want to read to much into a single store opening, but it does tweak my brain a bit. Obviously whoever approved the opening of a new, possibly temporary, retail location thinks that they will be able to sell enough toys there this holiday season to make it worth the cost. A couple other thoughts presented themselves as worth mentioning.

Retail space has finally gotten cheap enough, and retailers confident enough in their future prospects to splash on new digs. A bike shop in the same shopping center recently moved across the street to a nice new retail space that was completed in early 2008 and has sat vacant ever since. I think retailers have been sitting on their cash, waiting for the back end of this recession to make cheap expansions and gain market share. Hopefully this trend will continue and be self fulfilling.

For Toys-R-Us this is an obvious move to gain market share at the expense of Walmart and Target. By going into shopping centers that are anchored by a grocery store and a pharmacy they have become even more local and convenient than the big box stores. It will be interesting to see if they also try to compete on cost as well.

Maybe that pile of corporate cash will finally shake loose and make it a merry Christmas for everyone.

A kid can dream right?

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