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Chico business owners talk about competing with major retailers

Toys"R"Us, the largest toy chain in the United States, is saying goodbye to 182 of its stores across the country.

Posted: Jan. 24, 2018 6:18 PM

Chico, Calif. -- Toys"R"Us, the largest toy chain in the United States, is saying goodbye to 182 of its stores across the country.

The store closures of the country's largest toy chain now have small, local brick and mortar stores talking.

The announcement came months after Toys"R"Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September.

The company says it is struggling to compete with big retailers like Amazon and Target.

"We're a specialty record store, we have vintage rock and roll records so we have something that you can't get at Target," said Alex D'Angelo, the owner of Spin Again Records in Downtown Chico.

D'Angelo set up his shop 2 years ago.

"We sell a little bit of everything in the store as opposed to taking the best stuff, putting it on the internet and getting paid," said D'Angelo.

"Online there is no shopper experience, you just click a button and see what you get," said D'Angelo.

The Downtown Chico Business Association said it has more than 400 members in its community of local businesses. 

"When we hear of a fad, we try to get there first. Toys"R"Us is a battleship, it takes a long time for them to turn around and get what's in demand," said Bob Malowney, owner of Bird in Hand.

Malowney opened his store 36 years ago with his wife.

"We talk to the customer, we monitor what the customer is looking at and we fulfill those needs to the people over and over," said Malowney.

Chico won't be losing a Toys"R"Us store, but Yuba City will. The toy chain hopes to lure more customers by revamping their loyalty program and improving in-store and online shopping experiences.

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