Toys R Us is closing down all of its stores in the US and UK

Toys R Us is closing down all of its stores in the US and UK
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Mack Male

Well, what was becoming more and more clear is now all but official. Toys R Us is planning to close down all of its 800 stores in the US. This can affect as many as 33 000 jobs in the country.

The decision hasn’t been made official just yet. But leading media as the Washington Post, USA Today, the New York Times and others already released the news.

They all cite sources close to the situation or people briefed on the discussions. And the story is pretty much the same everywhere.

It claims Toys R Us has already decided to close down all of its 800 stores in the US or at the very least sell them. The company already said on Wednesday morning that it will shut down all of its stores in Britain.

During the afternoon of the same day, executives informed the corporate staff in the company’s US HQ that the same fate is coming to the stores in the States. And it includes all of Babies R Us stores, too.

Toys R Out

This is very sad news for pretty much all fans of toys. Toys R Us have been around for six decades and many people grew up with them. It was the top toy store chain in the US for a long time, but then  the digital age caught up to it.

More and more people started buying toys online and Toys R Us started to accumulate losses. In September 2017 the company filed for bankruptcy protection after announcing it has more than $5 billion in debt.

At first Toys R Us was confident it was going to get through the problem in time for this year’s holiday shopping season. Things didn’t pan out this way, though. The holiday shopping season of 2017 was disappointing and further added to the problems of the company.

In January 2018 Toys R Us announced it’s closing down 182 stores in the US and started renegotiating leases on other stores. In the mean time it was also struggling in the UK, too. Even so, the news continued to be bleak.

There were constant rumblings that there are more severe issues in the company. Each bad piece of news around Toys R Us reflected on big toy makers such as Mattel and Hasbro who are among the top entities the store chain is in debt to.

No save in sight

At the moment, it seems like Toys R Us can’t be saved. “The liquidation of Toys R Us is the unfortunate but inevitable conclusion of a retailer that lost its way. Even during recent store closeouts, Toys R Us failed to create any sense of excitement. The brand lost relevance, customers and ultimately sales,” Neil Saunders, managing director of the research firm GlobalData Retail, wrote in an email to the New York Times.

This is good news for big names like Amazon, Walmart and Target. They have one less competitor to worry about and they are about to gain even more customers as a result.

As for Toys R Us, if it indeed goes down, it will continue to live in the memories of everyone who knew the “I’m a Toys R Us kid” slogan.