Toys R Us

Scaling a Business with Excellence

By Shane Reeves, Founder and CEO

When my kids were young, I felt like we were visiting a local Toys R Us at least 3-4 times every month to buy gifts for birthday parties and to get ahead of the busy holiday season. My oldest son, Will, loved Legos, my middle son, Jack, was all about Super Mario and my youngest daughter, Emma-White, adored Elmo.  My kids also loved “Geoffrey the Giraffe”, the lovable Toys R Us mascot—a great mascot and brand concept.

The Toys R Us concept was started by Charles P. Lazarus in 1948 when he was only 25 years old. He opened his first location in Washington DC and then another one in Maryland in 1955. He had some early investors to help him grow and is quoted as saying, “I am sure that it is as easy to run 50 of these stores as it is to run 5”. Looking back, I’m not sure that Mr. Lazarus would repeat that statement, but then hindsight is always 20/20.

The store changed hands a few times during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and by 2005 Toys R Us owned over 50% of the toy market in the USA. An amazing success in terms of both brand and longevity for any retail chain!

So, what happened to Toys R Us?

By 2016, they had fallen behind Amazon and Walmart. Not because of a lack of brand awareness, customer loyalty or innovationLike many entrepreneurial endeavors the chain was harmed by a lack of cash. The company had billions of dollars in debt and did not have the ability to borrow more money to invest in a robust online platform, hire talent or modernize their existing stores. The competition simply ran past them, and they filed for bankruptcy in 2017. 

TwelveStone has spent a good bit of cash over the last year building out infusion centers in four states. Our theme has been “BUILD in 2023”, an audacious goal to open nearly 20 IC’s in a fairly rapid expansion. But as good stewards our focus has been on optimizing both debt and cash and focusing on getting our centers up and running and cash flow positive as soon as possible.  As we move forward, we’ll remember to innovate often, and focus on delivering a world-class patient experience in terms of environment, clinical care and even support with the financial end of medication delivery.

I am thankful for our finance team and for all of those individuals that are paying the bills,  getting new payer contracts, collect the account receivables and finally making sure that the cash is in our bank accounts.  Money management is critical to any business, but our care delivery that has received incredible feedback from patients, care givers and family members in the form of more than 500 5-Star reviews is the fuel  that motivates our entire team to show up each and every day.