For Many Recent Bankruptcies, Companies are Quick to Blame Millennials

Not long ago, we reported on Toys R Us’ decision to file for bankruptcy. Although retailers file for bankruptcy all the time, especially in recent years, news of Toys R Us’ bankruptcy struck a chord with many Americans. For millions of American adults, Toys R Us is synonymous with childhood nostalgia and fun. It hearkens to a simpler time when receiving the Toys R Us catalog meant the beginning of the holiday season, a chance to flip through its glossy pages of exciting new toys.

These adults, who are largely part of the millennial generation, have been blamed for killing everything from paper napkins to Applebee’s and department stores. But one Forbes contributor points to millennials and their nostalgia as potential saviors for Toys R Us.

Changing Millennial Habits Put Companies and Even Industries in Jeopardy

When millennials are blamed for causing companies’ declines, the blame is placed on their value and spending habits. In-store sales at many retailers have declined as online sales took over market share, and online retailers like Amazon have taken over much of the business that brick and mortar retailers performed a decade or two ago.

Toys R Us suffered because many parents opted to buy toys online rather than in their stores. As millennials rapidly become parents, the Forbes contributor notes, online sales of toys and other children’s products will likely continue to replace in-store transactions. Like other retailers, Toys R Us can save itself by focusing on ecommerce.

Could Millennials Actually Save Some Retailers?

Ecommerce is only one of the many ways established brands have attempted to appeal to millennial consumers, some of which have been more successful than others. Millennials have been blamed for the decline of casual chain restaurants like Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings and in response, many of these restaurants have retooled their menus and atmosphere to cater to the millennial demographic. In some cases, this has been successful and in others, like Applebee’s, it has not. After failing to catch the millennial market, Applebee’s is returning to its classic offerings.

Other established companies have successfully tapped into appealing to millennials by offering up products that align with their values - transparency, customization, and quality. One example is Taco Bell. According to the Forbes piece discussed above, Toys R Us can leverage millennial parents’ nostalgia for its brand and position itself as a premier retailer by developing apps that make it easy and enjoyable to shop with the retailer. These include online catalogs and services that make it easy for parents to order online and pick up products at the store.

Work with an Experienced Itasca Bankruptcy Attorney

To learn more about the different chapters of bankruptcy and why you might pursue one to handle your personal or business debt, speak with one of the experienced bankruptcy attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP. Contact our team today to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.

(image courtesy of Mike Petrucci)

  • Newland & Newland LLP, Attorneys, Arlington Heights, IL
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