Identification / description of alternatives Provide better customer service Toys "R" Us can increase the level of customer satisfaction by providing good customer service. Friendly and well trained employees who understand customer needs better and who understand the importance of satisfying the customers will not only assist in encouraging customers to shop at Toys "R" Us but also contribute to differentiating the company from its competitors. It is important to make each customer feel important and to serve each customer feel like he / she is the only customer. Provide better shopping experience It is key for Toys "R" Us to make the shopping experience unique and fun. The experience would encourage the parents and their children to stop and shop more often. The unique shopping experience can make the store the best place to shop for toys.

The experience would leave a lasting impression in the minds of customers and would make them want to come back and come often. Setting up a game room at the store would attract kids to come to the store to try out new games, interact with other kids and also provide the store an opportunity to introduce and market new products and while the families enjoy a unique and fun shopping experience. Introducing characters in the store like Goeffrey the Giraffe would provide entertainment to the families and improve the shopping experience. Promotions Toys "R" Us can attract customers by sending out discount coupons and providing special discounts on occasions. Providing various incentives based on what customers spend would help increase consumer spending. Customers buy several toys throughout the various ages of their kids and more than often buy toys for various kids in their family and for friend's kids.

Incorporating rewards / points systems helps Toys "R" Us establish a long-term relationship with the customer and the relationship only grows as the customer buys each time at the store. This "lock-in" mechanism would also play a vital role in bringing the customers back to the store as opposed to shopping at the competitor's store for their needs. 3 in 1 experience The company can bring its umbrella of product offerings from its various stores such as Toys "R" Us, Kids "R" Us and Babies "R" Us under one roof. Providing several products in one store provides the customers more than one reason to stop at the store. Families with kids in different age groups and families with varying needs can find their needs in one place presenting the customer with a "one stop" shopping experience. Combining the stores enables the company to save money in operating expenses and also help save money in marketing.

Marketing Strategy The store can come up with a new and improved marketing strategy that emphasizes quality, variety and shopping experience to differentiate itself from its rivals. Promote the online store Promoting online sales helps the store reduce the operating costs. Online shopping also enables the store to serve more customers and customers in various geographical locations than possible via a traditional brick and mortar store. Recommendation We recommend all of the above alternatives be implemented.

If all of the above mentioned alternatives are implemented, the alternatives will help position Toys "R" Us better and also present a competitive advantage over its customers. The combination of above alternatives helps strengthen the operational efficiency and provide a winning strategy for the future. The combination of various specialty stores provides the customers many advantages and presents them more than one reason to go to Toys "R" Us. The combination of stores also makes it easier for the other alternatives to be implemented easily.

The combination of stores reduces the operating expenses and helps serve customers with different needs by providing a "one stop" shopping experience to families with kids in different age groups. The combination of individual specialty stores would make it difficult for rivals to compete. The combination of stores calls for a new marketing strategy to attract new customers and bring back old customers. Offering as low a price as competitors is not even an alternative because Toys "R" Us does not have other products to lean on to get compensated for the slashing prices. Toys "R" Us can build on areas which competitors cannot build on to gain competitive advantage.

The store has the competitive advantage over its customers in the amount of shelve space available and makes it easier to provide an extended product line to the customers. The specialty store's brand name is well renowned in the industry. The challenge is not to market the brand name but to attract customers to visit and shop at the store. The specialty store also has to perform extensive market research to identify geographical areas for expansion. Having an online presence is important not only during a regular season but also during holiday season when customers find it easy to send their gifts via online shipping.

Online shopping also reduces operating expense. While promoting the online shopping possibility, Toys "R" Us will have to strengthen its delivery framework and improve its supply chain management systems to avoid possibilities of negative publicity and customer dissatisfaction like in the past. Thus the store can employ all three sources of positioning - variety-based positioning, needs-based positioning and access-based positioning to outplay the competitors. The array of many activities not only presents Toys "R" Us with a competitive advantage but also helps the store sustain the advantage. Having decided what has to be done, the next question that comes to mind is, "How can this be done?" The following section presents the implementation plan for the recommended approach..