Toys 'R' Us Will Close All of Its Doors Forever Today After More Than 70 Years
It’s the end of a toy era!
All 200 remaining Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores will close by today, June 29, officially bringing its 71-year business to an end. Some stores even have markdowns of 50-70 percent, though inventory for many liquidation sales differs in many stores.
In March, the company announced it would shut or sell all of its 735 U.S. stores. That same month, the website stopped taking orders. In May, Toys “R” Us was no longer accepting gift cards and discontinued coupons and loyalty rewards points.
The final farewell for many locations comes nine months after Toys “R” Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, in an effort to shed $5 billion it had accumulated in debt and reinvest the $400 million it was spending a year to pay that off, into its stores, CNN reported.
Though Toys “R” Us was once one of the go-to places for families to do their toy shopping, the retailer has struggled to compete against online stores like Amazon, as well as big chain companies like Walmart and Target.
Toys “R” Us was founded by Charles Lazarus, who first opened a children’s furniture store in Washington, D.C. in 1948.
In 1957, Lazarus opened the first Toys “R” Us store, and changed the way families across the country shopped for their children during the holiday season and beyond, until he stepped down as CEO in 1994.
Days after the company announced it would close its stores, Lazarus died at 94.
When Toys “R” Us announced it would be closing, nearly 31,000 U.S. employees learned that they would not get any severance. Earlier this month, many employees protested the lack of severance pay in areas including New Jersey and New York, according to CNN.
Unfortunately, the law prevents companies in the process of liquidating from issuing employees any severance.