Numbers and journalists

If Toys R Us liquidates,10 to 15 percent of all toy sales could be lost forever


Toys R Us could soon liquidate its U.S. operations and the result will leave a lasting impact on the toy industry, Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink wrote in a note to investors Friday.

While Toys R Us accounted for 15 to 20 percent of U.S. toy sales last year, not all of that will shift to other retailers when the retailer is gone. Instead, about 10 to 15 percent of this volume will fall through the cracks and be lost for good.

15% of 15% of 100% is not the same as 15% of 100%.


14 thoughts on “Numbers and journalists”

  1. Jessica fucking Christ, this is so basic. So, so basic. These are the self-described “gatekeepers” of facts and the arbiters of our politics. Why do people pay any attention to them?

  2. Do they really believe that 10-15% of Toys R Us sales are impulse buys? I find that hard to believe, or that other retailers or Amazon won’t also generate the same proportion of impulse purchases. If they’re not an impulse, then presumably the would-have-been Toys R Us shopper will go to those other outlets, no?

  3. I sneeze in threes

    OT, now you’ve asked for unpaid submissions to your new journalistic endeavour, I think you should reconsider its name. May I suggest “The HuffingTim Post”.

  4. Well, methinks too many people take pride in not being able to do basic arithmetic. Slowing population growth will affect many industries. There are fewer kids under the age of 5 today than there were in 2010. That’s affecting schools, toy stores, and probably orthodontists, pediatricians, Disney and pony rides.

  5. No it’s true. 15% of kids won’t want toys any more, or maybe all of them will want 15% fewer toys. It’s just the way modern kids are. 🙂

  6. dcardno,

    As far as I could tell, Toys-R-Us were never about impulse buys – thirty years ago I used to get the train to Southampton for bonus maths classes (lecturers at the university doing free talks on a Wednesday afternoon for anyone interested, including over-keen A-level students – but I got good introductions to epidemic theory and time-and-motion studies out of it) and used, a couple of times, what was then a retail cathedral of Toys-R-Us to kill the gap between “train arrived” and “time to head off for the lecture”.

    It was well sited if you were planning a trip, but there was no way you’d just wander past and rush in thinking “I need to buy the latest Transformer and a Trailer Park Barbie set!” Well off the beaten track from the town centre, convenient for the train and with a big car park, but out of sight and mind of the main drag of the shopping centre.

    And the specific interest I went in for – Airfix and Tamiya model kits, being a sad planespotting geek even then – they were, frankly, rubbish for, so I switched to wasting the spare time in a big bookshop instead.

  7. Why would sales be lost? Do the parents / kids not want to buy toys? If a town centre shop closes does it affect in any way what I spend on the type of stuff that shop stocked? Cannot see how it would.

    I’ve no kids so all my toy buying is for other people’s kids. If one shop or site doesn’t have a suitable gift I look on another.
    At no point do I ever think of not buying a toy for the child.

  8. Suppose it was 15%, so what? If it were not spent on toys then it would be spent on something else: ponies, fuelling the obesity crisis… The money still goes around

  9. At Granada the Toys-R-Us outlet’s on a retail park opposite a bloody great whore-house. It’s a one stop shop for toys for boys of all ages.

  10. So I decide to buy a Toy for the kids birthday or something. Go down to where Toys r Us was and woe is me, it is closed. Tough luck kids.

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