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I was just discussing Toys "R" Us with my wife last night. As many of you regular readers know, I mention TRU pretty frequently here on The Rock Father (like when we started our Christmas shopping in October). Not only is it our favorite store (we visit the local Toys "R" Us/Babies "R" Us combo on a weekly basis - particularly since we have a newborn in the house), but I receive their press releases and corporate news via email here at Rock Father HQ, with updates arriving several times a week. If something interesting is happening at TRU, I usually share the news...

Pop-Up stores are becoming much more commonplace these days, and for the holidays, GameStop is getting in on the action. The video game retailer is launching 80 GameStop Kids locations (click here for the full list) across the U.S. featuring an assortment of this season’s "most sought after video games and accessories, video game licensed products, popular toy brands and collectibles."

Toys "R" Us is teaming up with Macy's for the Holiday Season, placing pop-up stores in 24 Macy's locations. These Toys "R" Us Express-branded toy departments will be open from roughly from Oct. 15, 2012, to Jan. 15, 2013. Personally, I think this is a great move for Macy's, as their "toy departments" have been pretty weak for several years, especially since losing their FAO Schwarz-branded departments in 2009 - interestingly, after Toys "R" Us took over that company.

The colossal failure in children's retailing known as WONDER! just made headlines again. The should've-been-awesome but totally mismanaged and underfunded superstore in Deerfield, Illinois was the subject of a lengthy feature here on The Rock Father, but abruptly closed without warning just eight days later. Now, after sitting dormant for the past three months, the store is holding a 'Final Liquidation' starting tomorrow, May 29th and ending June 2nd. Sadly, even the liquidation sounds shifty.

Published in James' Journal

I need to lower my expectations for everything. As depressing as that may sound, it's true. We've been having bad luck when it comes to cool-sounding events being 'as-advertised' when we actually get there. The May Kid's Workshop at Home Depot? No exception. On a National Scale, I think this is a great program with great partners - but my local store was lacking in execution. Allow me to explain...

Published in Gardening

I miss record stores. There was a time when they were abundant, and I would visit many of them on a frequent basis. At one point, I took what I call the 'corporate detour,' and entered the world of big business and big box retailing. My 'dirty little secret' is that from 1996-1998 I worked for Walmart, after which I defected to Super Kmart, lured by headhunter to higher pay and better opportunities. Walmart was not happy. You see, not only was I very good at my job, but I'd just returned from their yearly 'Rah, Rah!' company meetings (held in Kansas, City that year) and revealed my departure about a week later. They paid me out for all remaining vacation time, and I was able to enjoy some relaxation before starting the new gig. You might wonder why I'm telling you this today, and the answer is simple: Rock was involved. Actually, more than just Rock... but all music. Record Store Style.

Published in James' Journal
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