A generation ago, in the US, there where thousands of independent toy stores. Those toy stores found their industry disrupted by a new kid on the block, Toys R Us. 70 years later, the internet, helped by Toys R Us’ crippling debt load, have finally killed the iconic toy giant.
While this is a cautionary tale about debt, and the fact that any company, no matter how big or how old can succumb to the death by a thousand cuts, what is more it is a tale of how disruption and the failure to adapt kills businesses and disappears jobs.
Requiescat In Pacem. I was too poor to shop at Toys R Us when I was a kid, I used to wander through its aisles and wish I could have all those toys. It’s a shame really, a bucket list item just got erased – undoable.
But for all those companies that were put out of business by Toys R Us’ disruptive business model, they echo: “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”