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griffin
7th August 2016, 12:10 AM
Yes, they are one of the most expensive sources for toys in Australia, but that's offset by them being the best at price-matching and having a good amount of sales and discounts.
This first post relates to issues that I've ranted about Australian ToysRUs stores a few times before, specifically...
- the confusing choice of some locations (or lack of stores in more populated locations),
- as well as how they won't order in stock that is a guaranteed sale (WHY???),
- not to mention the way that Head Office dictates which stores get stock, so that stores that cater to less people often get more stock than stores that cater to much larger numbers of people (like the Mt Gravatt store in Brisbane, which services the most people in Australia, covering the southern half of Brisbane as well as the Gold Coast, totalling about 1.5 to 1.9 million people).

It's no wonder the ToysRUs brand is failing globally, and the Australian branch has been rather stagnant in the last 15 years, barely opening more stores than they've closed during that time.

Looking at the store locations page today, I saw that they've closed another 3 stores in Sydney since early 2015, and opened up 4 in NSW (2 in Sydney and 2 in regional locations), in addition to two new stores in the south-east of Melbourne.... but surprisingly, nowhere else.

The thing that really bugs me is one of the new stores. It's in Wagga Wagga, which has a population of about 56,000 people.
I'm all for spreading out the store locations more to cater to more people and places around the country, as there is still a large concentration in Sydney (9 stores) and Melbourne (8 stores), but there are a lot of other more populated places around the country that should have a TRU store first... like Hobart or even Darwin, the two capital cities that don't even have one, and their population is 3-4 times the size of Wagga Wagga.
Not to mention the capital city that has the least amount of stores per million by a long way (Brisbane/Gold Coast). Adelaide has more stores but only has half the number of people, while both the ACT region and Illawarra region both have the same number of stores as Brisbane/Gold Coast, but less than a quarter of the population.
To make matters worse, the store on the south side of Brisbane rarely gets any of the TRU exclusives, and consistently has a small range of the regular toys, often leaving the shelves and pegs bare for months at a time.

These two photos are from the last month - from me at Mt Gravatt catering to 1.5-1.9 million people, and from Polursine at Erina that caters to the Central Coast/Gosford region of about 300,000 people... can you guess which is which?

http://www.toycollectors.com.au/2016tru19.jpg
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http://www.toycollectors.com.au/2016tru20.jpg

You just have to look in the QLD sightings topic to see that the small range of Transformers toys has been a ongoing, consistent thing... the shelves aren't empty from rapidly selling out. And the only exclusive item we've had in about 6 months has been the Japanese Masterpiece Sideswipe. None of the other Japanese imports, RID Clash, Platinums or Combiner Wars boxsets in that time.
Logically you'd think that the stores that have to cater to the largest number of people would get the most amount of stock and exclusives... and yet the opposite occurs.
I wouldn't be surprised if they have a cry about their exclusives not selling and then decide to stop buying them from Hasbro - they wonder why the exclusives don't sell, and only have to look at their own actions for the reason. The high prices might deter dedicated collectors who have importing options, but if the products aren't even accessible to regular customers, it's their own actions that prevent them from selling them at any price (they won't let customers order in the products, and they don't send stock to the stores that cater to the largest populations).

Doing up some of the stats and calculations, these are the ratios of stores to people in that area...

Brisbane/Gold Coast (2.9 million) has 2 stores = 1 per 1,450,000 people (more for the southern store, as it includes the Gold Coast now, of 600,000 people)
Greater Melbourne (4.5 million) has 8 stores = 1 per 560,000 people
Greater Sydney (4.9 million) has 9 stores = 1 per 540,000 people
Perth (2 million) has 4 stores = 1 per 500,000 people
Adelaide (1.3 million) has 3 stores = 1 per 433,000 people
Newcastle (0.43 million) has 1 store = 1 per 430,000 people
NSW Central Coast (0.32 million) has 1 store = 1 per 320,000 people
QLD Sunshine Coast (0.3 million) has 1 store = 1 per 300,000 people
Wollongong/Illawarra (0.46 million) has 2 stores = 1 per 230,000 people
ACT region (0.39 million) has 2 stores = 1 per 195,000 people
Geelong (0.19 million) has 1 store = 1 per 190,000 people
Townsville (0.18 million) has 1 store = 1 per 180,000 people
Cairns (0.15 million) has 1 store = 1 per 150,000 people
Wagga Wagga (0.056) has 1 store = 1 per 56,000 people


ToysRUs stores in Australia (currently at 37)
http://www.toysrus.com.au/stores/

NSW - (14)
Greater Sydney - Bankstown, Burwood, Cambelltown, Castle Hill, Casula, Miranda, Moore Park, Parramatta, Penrith.
Regional - Erina (Gosford), Kotara (Newcastle), Shellharbour (Illawarra), Wagga Wagga, Wollongong.

VIC - (9)
Greater Melbourne - Chadstone, Doncaster, Fountain Gate, Frankston, Highpoint, Knox City, Moorabbin, Northland.
Regional - Geelong.

QLD - (5)
Greater Brisbane - Aspley, Mt Gravatt.
Regional - Maroochydore (Sunshine Coast), Cairns, Townsville.

WA - (4)
Perth - Cannington, Innaloo, Joondalup, Morley.

SA - (3)
Adelaide - Gepps Cross, Noarlunga, Tea Tree.

ACT - (2) Belconnen, Majura Park.

(TAS & NT - none)


16 largest cities/regions in Australia & number of ToysRUs stores in each
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_in_Australia_by_population

9 - Sydney - 4,900,000 people
8 - Melbourne - 4,500,000
2 - Brisbane - 2,300,000 (the odd one out in terms of people-to-store ratios)
4 - Perth - 2,000,000
3 - Adelaide - 1,300,000
0 - Gold Coast - 600,000 (used to have a store)
2 - Illawarra - 460,000
1 - Newcastle - 430,000
2 - ACT region - 420,000
1 - NSW Central Coast - 320,000
1 - QLD Sunshine Coast - 300,000
0 - Hobart - 220,000 (only state capital without a store)
1 - Geelong - 190,000
1 - Townsville - 180,000
1 - Cairns - 150,000
0 - Darwin - 140,000
---------------------------
1 - Wagga Wagga - 56,000

Why do I bother with all this?
Well, hopefully I can get TRU to change their policy about where they allocate stock, and to allow customers to order in stock, as they added an online store with a pre-order listing of some exclusives after collector feedback... and who knows, maybe the next few stores they open will be in Brisbane (to balance it out with the major cities), and the Gold Coast, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, to cover the missing largest 16 population areas, and go on from there down the list.


As a bit of positive feedback, their customer service in-store has often been pretty good for me, and they are always noting the frustration at having their hands tied by head office when it comes to not being able to satisfy customer needs... so I can't fault the in-store staff for not being able to get certain items that other stores are getting.
Their price-matching is one of the best in Australia, and the VIP card has managed to get me quite a few dollars off some purchases.

Krayt
7th August 2016, 12:35 AM
My two local stores in Melbourne have never had a CW G2 box set or Victorion on the shelves, and they have not had the last few Masterpiece figures either.

One of the two stores does advertise expensive items with the "take me to the register" cards, but when you walk down the aisles and they have maybe 4 legend size figures on the shelves, no one ever looks for the "take me to the register" cards, which are located on the very edge of an end cap display for something else.

The other store does not even do this basic level of "advertising".

I travel a lot, and I see all the items available on shelves in NSW and WA locations, but nothing in These Melbourne stores.

Paulbot
7th August 2016, 08:04 PM
You just have to look in the QLD sightings topic to see that the small range of Transformers toys has been a ongoing, consistent thing... the shelves aren't empty from rapidly selling out. And the only exclusive item we've had in about 6 months has been the Japanese Masterpiece Sideswipe. None of the other Japanese imports, RID Clash, Platinums or Combiner Wars boxsets in that time.
Logically you'd think that the stores that have to cater to the largest number of people would get the most amount of stock and exclusives... and yet the opposite occurs.
Cairns (0.15 million) has 1 store = 1 per 150,000 people


I was thinking about this myself but hadn't got around to posting anything.

I was in Cairns a couple of weeks ago and checked out the TRU there. When it comes to mainline TFs the shelves were pretty bare (first pic), but when it came to exclusives they were overflowing! (second pic)

About a dozen MP Sideswipe; half a dozen Japanese Arcees, MP Tracks, MP Roadrages, MP Bumblebee, MP G2 Bumblebee; a couple of the Platnium Dinobots sets, Platnium Blaster/Perceptor sets, Japanese Superion, G2 Superion, G2 Menasor, Victorion; and one each of MP Star Sabre and MP10 Convoy.

I was really taken aback to see so many and wondered how could there possibly be enough TF collectors in the area to need this many. (Even if Burn bought one of each there's still so many left!) Looking at the population figure (150,000) makes that thought even stronger.

http://i.imgur.com/MDRKtXWh.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ClUzAdkh.jpg

griffin
7th August 2016, 08:22 PM
I'd be floored if I ever walked into the Mt Gravatt store and saw that many Transformers toys and exclusives.

Bato
7th August 2016, 08:49 PM
Last time I went to the Geelong one, it had pretty much sweet FA. I think my local kmart has more stock than TRU...

Handsprime
7th August 2016, 09:20 PM
Castle Hill and Erina I have to say are some of the better TRU I've seen. Their Transformers stock is usually good.

griffin
7th August 2016, 10:27 PM
I did up some images from photos taken in July of three different stores, to send to ToysRUs and/or send to their facebook page, to illustrate the point of their absurd stock distribution by Head Office.
This way they can't dispute it or claim that I'm just exaggerating... they need to fix their system if they want to move their over-priced exclusives, for their benefit, and ours (to get in more exclusives, giving us more options on items that are hard to get from other sources, like the RID Clash toys and Movie Stinger toy).

(Erina photo was from Polursine, Cairns photo was from Paulbot, Shellharbour photo was from Hursticon, Mt Gravatt photo was from me)

http://www.toycollectors.com.au/blog/d271.jpg
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http://www.toycollectors.com.au/blog/d272.jpg
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http://www.toycollectors.com.au/blog/d282.jpg
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http://www.toycollectors.com.au/blog/d283.jpg

kovert
8th August 2016, 01:52 PM
Aspley QLD store has an underwhelming range of TFs too.

griffin
8th August 2016, 03:21 PM
I posted up my rant (with the photos) on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/griffinofoz/posts/279026009131533), directed at TRU and Hasbro... which is probably the last idea I have left to get them to change their absurd corporate procedures (not allocating stock to all stores, not sending more units to stores with more people in their area, as well as not allowing for customers to order in products they have in stock... and often sit on for so long that they have to clear out at a loss).

It's no wonder ToysRUs has been failing globally in recent times with these sort of bizarre business decisions...

Bato
8th August 2016, 04:09 PM
Did you try and post it to https://www.facebook.com/toysrusau ?

edit: NVM, just mentioning them works.

MayzaPrime
8th August 2016, 04:43 PM
I have to say that I am reasonably impressed with the Canberra stores when it comes to their allocation of Transformers. As most of you have seen ACT usually gets the stock first and if you look at the Australian First Sightings thread, alot of the first sightings for TRU are from the ACT.

Megatran
8th August 2016, 05:26 PM
^ That's cos the ACT is the adult toy capital.

ampoldj
8th August 2016, 06:37 PM
^ That's cos the ACT is the adult toy capital.

...and i though before that ACT ain't got much TF stock compared to Sydney or Melbourne (or other bigger cities) when I first came here :D