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News: Toys 'R' Us will close or sell all US stores

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From Marketwatch https://www.marketwatch.com/story/toys-r-us-will-sell-or-close-all-us-stores-ceo-tells-employees-2018-03-14

“Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. told employees Wednesday the struggling big-box retailer will sell or close all its U.S. stores, a collapse that threatens up to 33,000 Americans jobs in the coming months.

 

The 70-year-old chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, has more than 700 remaining U.S. locations, including Babies ‘R’ Us stores. It would be one of the biggest retail liquidations since The Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in 2016 with 14,500 workers and closed more than 460 stores.

 

Chief Executive David Brandon delivered the company’s fate to workers at its Wayne, N.J., headquarters. The company plans to file liquidation papers Wednesday evening in advance of a bankruptcy court hearing on Thursday.â€

 

From CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/14/news/companies/toys-r-us-closing-stores/index.html

“Toys "R" Us is expected to close hundreds of stores worldwide as well. Earlier on Wednesday, Toys "R" Us said it was closing all of its stores in the UK.

 

Toys "R" Us hasn't made a full-year profit since 2012 and has lost $2.5 billion since then. It reported a loss of $953 million in the first nine months of last year alone. Sales during the recent holiday period, which the company has yet to report, are believed to have been very bad.

 

The company was taken over by private equity giants KKR, Bain Capital and real estate investment company Vornado in 2005. Together they paid $6.6 billion, but saddled the company with $5.3 billion in debt.

 

At the time of its bankruptcy, Toys "R" Us disclosed it had about $5 billion in debt and was spending about $400 million a year just to pay for it.â€

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Whoa. Amazon takes down another I guess. :(

I’m not discounting that Amazon played a role, but the story says they were bought by private equity companies and then said companies “saddled†them with quite a bit of debt. Bain Capital isn’t interested in running companies, they’re looking to strip assets and leverage capital to make more money for the lawyers and the private equity firm. Bain’s business is shutting businesses down after they take all they can so it was really only a matter of time once they bought Toys r Us. I imagine the other three aren’t any different. I’m going to stick the blame on them, quite frankly.

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This breaks the heart of anyone who was a child in the past 70 years. :(

I completely agree. It is interesting that kids in the future may not experience the joy of an entire store dedicated to them (I typed this as I hummed thr theme song). Such a bummer.

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I worked for TRU corporate for over a decade. This has been coming for a long time. I am surprised it lasted this long after it was sold in 2005. Amazon was the final nail in the coffin. The reality is they weren't nimble enough to change their business model when other retailers started nipping at their market share.

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Hardly ever shopped there. Don't think my parents used to take us. If so, seldom. But it is sad. I'm keeping an eye out for sales. Maybe for neice and nephew more so than my kids. Trying to get away from too many toys. They sell some clothes at one store I've been in. But sizes don't go up high.

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When I was growing up we had other toy stores.  They closed within a couple years of Toys R Us coming to our town.  

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I don't really care.  I could never really find what I wanted there, and they sent all the really good toy stores here out of business.  The employees ever really knew where to find what I wanted.  I had better luck at the tiny old Walmart where the toy section was three aisles.

 

We used to have the most amazing toy store, much smaller than Toys R Us, but also much better toys.  It had a giant giraffe that stood outside the door.

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The fact is that TRU wasn't competitive with pricing. Why would I go to one chain and pay more than I would at another chain? I expect to pay more at our independent toy stores, but not at a chain.

 

2 years ago I ordered a Nerf gun from them for one of my sons for Christmas, but I haven't stepped into one of their stores in over 12 years.

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This breaks the heart of anyone who was a child in the past 70 years. :(

I am actually not sad about this. As a kid I preferred KB toys, which is long gone. And as an adult I've found the toys overpriced, customer service terrible, and the return policy terrible. I'm glad they're closing because it means my kids can't ever drag me there to spend their Christmas money again.

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The fact is that TRU wasn't competitive with pricing. Why would I go to one chain and pay more than I would at another chain? I expect to pay more at our independent toy stores, but not at a chain.

 

2 years ago I ordered a Nerf gun from them for one of my sons for Christmas, but I haven't stepped into one of their stores in over 12 years.

This 100%.i don't expect places to price match online prices but why would I buy from your store if I can get the same thing for less at the store next door.

 

Independent stores I am always willing to pay more.

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I am actually not sad about this. As a kid I preferred KB toys, which is long gone. And as an adult I've found the toys overpriced, customer service terrible, and the return policy terrible. I'm glad they're closing because it means my kids can't ever drag me there to spend their Christmas money again.

Well, I have really good memories there. My parents were definately Toys R Us kids, even in their 30s and they loved to go to Toys R Us every few months just to window shop. They usually took me, but honestly, sometimes they went alone because they loved it so much.

 

And it’s also where I got my husband.

 

My DH worked at Toys R Us for 7 years. I met him there after he got off work for our first date. Ten years later when I was pregnant and we were shopping for baby gear, we went to Babies R Us and were looking at strollers and car seats and he was going on and on about which brand was better and which features we’d want. I was like, “Dude. How do you know all this stuff?†And he was like, “Seven years Toys R Us employee—in the baby department.â€

 

So, yeah. Lots of good memories at Toys R Us. :)

Edited by Garga
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My folks, er, Santa, shopped at Sears for us.

 

My TRU memory is when my four were small and my dad would fly out to visit, he would take us to TRU and we'd go up and down each aisle with a big cart and the kids (and moi) would fill it on Pap's dime. Many Barbies and Star Wars items. :-)

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I don't live anywhere near one and I don't think dd has ever been to one.  But I do fondly remember those contests they had when I was a kid where some lucky kid(s) got to go into the empty store with a shopping cart and had some amount of time (10 minutes, maybe) to put as many things in the cart as they could.  My friends and I would spend hours strategizing what path we would take and what toys we would target if we were ever the contest winner.  

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My parents refused to shop there. They didn’t have money to spend on toys and when they did, they could get better deals elsewhere.

I’ve shopped there a few times, but I buy off Amazon. We don’t have any local toy stores here either anymore, but they were around long after Toys R Us came. They were killed off by online shopping.

Edited by MedicMom
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I still remember when ds was little, TRU had the big Thomas the Tank Engine and Rokenbok displays, and ds LOVED playing with them!

 

I will be sad to see it go, but since they started dedicating so much floor space to the baby furniture and supplies, their toy selection got pretty terrible and I can understand why people stopped shopping there.

 

I hope another big toy store opens to take its place, though.

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I'm kind of okay with this.

 

Our local TRU didn't really have that great of a selection - just LOTS of a few things. A whole aisle full of Littlest Pet Shops? And I don't even want to get started on the "half pink for girls, other half blue/red/black for boys" nonsense. Plus their prices were higher than other places in town.

 

We have another toy store that opened up here in our town around Christmas, and it's wonderful - no gender-specific sections, good prices, amazing selection. Its smaller, but it has a lot of really great toys and games, and my kids love going there.

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Whoa. Amazon takes down another I guess. :(

 

no -amazon didn't do this to them, they did this to themselves.   they've been struggling for years - since (before really) amazon was a fraction (4%) of the size it is today.  that's WHY they sold out to bain - which is a "turn around" venture captialist.

they had a huge debt load - which prevented them from doing the things that could have kept them alive.

 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/amazon-didnt-kill-toys-r-us-heres-what-did/ar-BBKeMqK?ocid=spartandhp

 

I have three kids born in the 80's - so I've been personally shopping/old enough to be the adult shopping there a long time.  It's killed me when I've had to go there since the 90's and I've gone out of my way to avoid it.

 

eta: I didn't grow up shopping there - don't know when it arrived in my area.  but I tolerated it. as I said - I hated even going in the place  long before they sold out.

Edited by gardenmom5
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I still remember when ds was little, TRU had the big Thomas the Tank Engine and Rokenbok displays, and ds LOVED playing with them!

 

I will be sad to see it go, but since they started dedicating so much floor space to the baby furniture and supplies, their toy selection got pretty terrible and I can understand why people stopped shopping there.

 

I hope another big toy store opens to take its place, though.

 

I barely remember when they started carrying brio/etc. I did think - finally, they're getting some better quality toys - but their shopping experience was deteriorating.

By then, I had pretty much stopped shopping there and was going to better quality toy stores. I never knew they were carrying rokenbok - becasue I had already stopped shopping there.

 

- and they tended to be expensive.

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Whoa. Amazon takes down another I guess. :(

 

I don't know. My oldest in 10 years old. The only times we went to Toys R Us was when we had been gifted gift cards to go there -- and then they struggled to find things to spend them on. The toys I bought them were rarely sold at Toys R Us (And when they were, like Lego, they were often more expensive than buying direct from Lego). I did not find that Toys  R Us served our family nor was it a place that we went just to browse.

 

Babies  R Us, OTOH, I will miss. That store definitely filled a niche that will be hard to replace. There are very few Buy Buy Babys out there, comparatively.  I hope it means the local baby stores will be able to survive better though because several of our local stores have gone out of business.

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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I'm sorry for all the people losing their jobs, but I'm not surprised they're closing.  I first set foot in one about 30 years ago, and I didn't care for it then.  It was just too sprawling and felt cold and a little dumpy, for some reason.  The last time I was in one was about 15 years ago, and I remember thinking then that it felt like it was the beginning of the end.  I'm surprised they've lasted this long!  I much prefer the smaller toy stores that seem friendlier with a much smaller selection of what seems like higher quality creative toys.  

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I've never been a Toys R Us fan. The ones I've been in were dingy and cluttered, like you had to wade through piles of junky stuff to find any quality toys.

 

We used to take our kids to FAO Schwarz in Chicago when they were little. That place was absolutely magical. Expensive, but so much fun. It's closed now, too.

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My kids hated TRU the first time they walked into one. Too noisy, too bright, not enough of the kind of things they liked. They much preferred the combination toy/teachers' store that sold Playmobil, a better selection of Legos, and had a train setup to play with.

 

I had to go into one recently and it was terrible. Even when I got some employees to stop chatting among themselves to ask where to find something, they couldn't tell me and did not offer to find out.

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I would never have survived my first toddler if it weren't for TRU.

 

My DH was working out of town for weeks at a time, and there I was, home alone with a toddler all that time.  Every couple of weeks after pay day, I could take my little girl to the big city 20 minutes away and spend a few hours wandering the TRU.  That was the brief period of time they were trying out the Geoffrey model of store.  They had a huge play area that was free to use, a big crafting/toy demo area, and they often had toys out of the packages for kids to try.  For just a few hours DD could have a blast and I would have that precious time out of the home.  There were always good toys to be had for under $10, and before we left, she would wander the aisles choosing that one toy very carefully.  On our way back home a Happy Meal suited her for dinner so that I could cook myself a meal that was a little more grown up in taste that day.  TRU day was always the best day! Oh, we did park days and went for walks and visited with family, but there was something about those visits to TRU that just marked the passing of time in such a fun way.  

 

When DS was about 3 or 4 years old, the store started drastically changing for the worst, because I remember taking him there also, but he did not have as grand of times as DD had. 

 

The only times we've been there in the last 3 years has been when they had a specific sale on video game items.  Other than that, it just wasn't the same toy store that we loved.   I miss the TRU that used to be, but it hasn't been that for a very long time.  I highly doubt a new toy retailer will burst onto the scene, but it sure would be fun to see if one did!

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Well, they lasted a lot longer than I expected. The last time I bought something there was more than 10 years ago and I thought they were on borrowed time then. I was buying a bike and had a $50 Toys R Us gift card. Getting anyone to help me (all the bike boxes were in the back) was ridiculously difficult.

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They had a huge play area that was free to use, a big crafting/toy demo area, and they often had toys out of the packages for kids to try.

...

When DS was about 3 or 4 years old, the store started drastically changing for the worst, because I remember taking him there also, but he did not have as grand of times as DD had.

We started going to ToysRUs here in the states when DS13 was 8 months old. Our experience is similar in that the stores were lovely when I had 2 under 2 and my then toddlers had a great time. By the time DS12 was four years old, we moved on to Lego stores and Learning Express stores. The staff were more helpful and nicer too when my kids were little.

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