Economists say that Millennials likely murdered Toys’R’Us… and they’re preparing to kill again!!
It’s because they’d rather have pets as children instead of actual children:
Some say the US is at risk of becoming “a demographic time bomb,” with fertility rates falling at a time when longevity is increasing. Japan — where 2017 marked a 118-year low for fertility at the same time people were living longer than ever before — is regarded as the poster child for this phenomenon.
Retailers, particularly ones that target newborns and children, are taking notice. The most recent example is Toys R Us, which wrote in its 2017 annual filing that the declining US birth rate could be hurting sales.
“Most of our end-customers are newborns and children and, as a result, our revenues are dependent on the birth rates in countries where we operate,” the filing said. “In recent years, many countries’ birth rates have dropped or stagnated as their population ages, and education and income levels increase. A continued and significant decline in the number of newborns and children in these countries could have a material adverse effect on our operating results.”
To be fair to Millennials, which we all hate, but we’re responsible for, they’re not the only reason the toy store died:
The national toy chain announced last week that it would shutter or sell each of its 735 US stores. The country’s declining birth rate is not the sole reason for Toys R Us’ bankruptcy. The company also cited growing competition from online retailers, some $4.8 billion worth of debt, the rising popularity of online games, and an increase in labor costs as factors that may damage its business.
AND that means there are other companies on their murder list!!!
But the company’s worries surrounding a shortage of young customers may highlight a new, troubling reality for similar companies, from big brands like Build-A-Bear Workshop to independent toy shops. Last year, New York magazine profiled several local toy stores, where “everything was on super-sale” as most struggled with sales.
I’m not sure this matters a whole lot – companies come and go based on shifting tastes and demographics. BUT the demographic shift itself IS dangerous and inimical to our power and growth.