By Katie Griffiths

If you've got kids, you'll know the way their ears prick up when they hear the Toys R Us jingle in the run-up to Christmas. You might be young enough to still get butterflies yourself!

But it seems that Christmas past could be the last to feature Geoffrey the Giraffe's "toys in their millions, all under one roof" because the company didn't keep up with the evolution of retail marketing in the digital age.

Sure, there's a lot to be said for setting foot through the doors of a toy shop - it still sets my heart aflutter when I step into one of those emporiums of excitement. But Toys R Us just could not compete with their online rivals, such as Amazon, on price and convenience.

You would think Geoffrey, with his big long neck, could have seen the predators gathering on the horizon.

The chain boomed from its start in the UK in the 1980s and it is truly sad news that 3000 jobs are at risk at its 105 stores. Administrators were called in yesterday after management failed to find a rescuer.

The administrators are beginning an "orderly wind-down" and dropping prices to get rid of stock. It's a child's dream, and a Toys R Us worker's nightmare. It reminds me of the horrible final days of those other high street institutions, Woolworths and BHS, as they slowly cleared the shelves and racks, then sold those as well.

It was a £15 million tax bill, combined with sales that could never cover it, that sounded Toys R Us's death knell.

The evidence is clear that they just no longer appealed to today's "want it now, want it easy" consumer. Toys R Us's stores at out-of-town retail parks were an effort to get to, while rivals The Entertainer made themselves more conveniently available with high street shops.

Amazon, with their quickly evolving same day delivery service, and Argos, who do the same, gobbled up the online market, leaving poor old Geoffrey lame.

With a bit of foresight, Toys R Us could have geared up their digital marketing to compete with the online giants, but perhaps a lack of their rivals' buying power hamstrung them.

There's an irony that the giraffe - an animal that's life depends on being able to sense danger and react quickly to avoid predators - is the Toys R Us mascot.

Perhaps it could have been an ostrich, famed for burying their heads in the sand.

The message to high street brands should be clear and simple by now: they need to evolve. Footfall in physical stores is dropping while online spending rockets. Almost £1 in ever £5 spent in the UK is spent online, and that's rising by about 10 per cent year on year.

Obviously, a shift to online sales requires investment from a retailer - in technology, warehouse infrastructure, software and staff with the digital marketing nous and retail marketing expertise to get it going and keep it operating perfectly.

I have a horrible feeling Geoffrey's bones will have been picked clean long before any of that ever happens at Toys R Us.

I'll really miss the Christmas jingle but unfortunately Toys R Us weren't quick enough to evolve and react to consumer shopping habits.

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