UPDATE: As of Wednesday, March 14th, Toys "R" Us has announced to its employees that they will be selling or closing all U.S. stores. According to USAToday, the iconic toy retailer filed liquidation papers in preparation for their court hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon. This could affect as many as 33,000 jobs after 60 years of existence, says The Washington Post. If a buyer surfaces and decides to operate the business on a smaller scale, there may be hope of continuing the Toys "R" Us legacy. Reports that MGA Entertainment submitted a bid to buy the retailer's Canadian locations and has further interest in some U.S. locations are surfacing. Only time will tell the fate of this legendary toy store chain. For now, here's what you need to know about your rewards and the liquidation sales:
Gift cards and reward cards: All gift cards will be valid until April 21st. Closing sales will not appear on the store's website and all in-store purchases are final sale during this time. Coupons will no longer be accepted in stores or online. As for Toys “R” Us credit cards, you can continue to use yours during closing sales but you will no longer gain credits or points from those purchases. Those with outstanding balances on their Toys “R” Us credit cards with still be expected to pay that fee even after the card is useless. For those taking advantage of Toy “R” Us layaway, you can expect a notice providing you 21 days to pay outstanding debts or you can request a refund.
Liquidation sales: As Marketwatch.com suggests, the best discounts will take weeks or months to emerge—toys are expected to be marked up to manufacturer's suggested retail prices before they're discounted. If you are looking to get a specific coveted item, the earlier you visit the store the better. Even if there aren’t any incredible sales, the most popular toys on the market are expected to sell out first. Lastly, Toys “R” Us sales could possibly affect other retailers’ prices. It is always smart to look out for sales at other big-name toy providers who are attempting to keep up with the competition.
MARCH 12, 2018 REPORT: Toys "R" Us may soon be nothing more than a distant memory for kids who grew up roaming the aisles of the childhood wonderland. Earlier this year, in the wake of increasing competition from Amazon and Walmart, the toy chain announced they would be closing approximately 182 stores around the country, or about one-fifth of its U.S. store "fleet." The aim was to restructure the company and emerge from bankruptcy protection. Now, with liquidation sales happening in those stores all over the country, new reports claim that Toys "R" Us is debating whether or not to shutter the rest of its stores.
CNN also reports that if Toys "R" Us does go under completely, it will be especially bad news for toymakers Hasbro and Mattel, as the store accounts for nearly 10% of the companies' overall sales. Without it, they struggle to sell much more than their signature, most popular products.
For the time being, all Toys "R" Us will say, via Twitter, is that their stores are open for business.
As Forbes points out, there are roughly 800 Toys "R" Us stores nationwide, so if they all go dark, many of us are going to be driving by some seriously sad, empty real estate for a while. And the next generation will miss out on the experience of pure joy that uniquely stems from visiting a real-life toyland.