For more than 65 years, Toys R Us has been an American institution. Many adults who are now parents remember being children, walking the aisles, absolutely mesmerized by the shelves upon shelves of dolls, train sets, action figures, games, bikes -- all the toys your heart desired as a kid. But these days, with brick-and-mortar stores struggling more to keep pace with online retailers, even some of the biggest chains are downsizing, and Toys R Us is the latest to make the news. The company is planning to close approximately 182 stores around the country -- from cities in New Jersey to Illinois to California -- or about one-fifth of its U.S. store "fleet," reports CBS Moneywatch. The goal: to restructure the company and emerge from bankruptcy protection.
Toys R Us management announced yesterday, Tuesday, January 23 that closures are set to begin in early February and run through mid-April of this year.
A possible silver lining for customers: The company aims to co-brand some of its stores to include both Toys R Us and Babies R Us. They'll also be zeroing in on updates to their loyalty program, as well as in-store and online shopping experiences.
"The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Brandon wrote Tuesday in a memo to customers. "The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company."
For a complete list of stores that will be closing, you can check out this map on CNBC.