The iconic Toys ‘R’ Us – the first retailer that created a virtual monopoly in a specific product category – will roll down shutters in the US by the end of this week. Generations that grew up visiting the toy store to celebrate an occasion or for just-like-that-treat have lamented their grief on social media.
Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores will close by Friday. Liquidation for store inventory began in April. Upto 90% markdowns can be found on store merchandise. Many stores nationwide won’t make it until Friday with some closing Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
The company’s announcement, to either close or sell all of its 800 stores across the US, was made in March this year after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2017. The store reportedly had a debt of $5 billion and had struggled to find a potential buyer to revive the struggling chain.
Charles P. Lazarus, who founded Toys R Us six decades ago, died in March at age 94, a week after the chain announced it was going out of business.
There are multiple reasons behind the huge debt and bankruptcy – greedy private equity owners, managers who never understood what the internet (read Amazon) would do to physical retailing and a host of other bad decisions made by a cast of thousands and aggressive competitors like Walmart and Target.
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