Toys R’ Us
~ Worldwide ~
One of my favorite toy stores growing up, it is one of the only places to find the popular toys on the planet. It is a chain however that will be a historic part of the past as they are closing all of their stores this month and calling it quits. Lost to online markets or a sign of the times. They claim to have been destroyed by the mass merchant chains of Walmart, Target, and Amazon. Toys R’ Us began in 1948 from Charles Lazarus children’s furniture store the “Children’s Supermart” as an American toy, kid’s clothing, baby product, and video gamer retailer with headquarters located in Wayne, New Jersey. It was re-styled and re-invented by Charles Lazarus in 1957 to its modern manifestation. In 2015 they invented and new concept store called the “Toy Lab” in Freehold, New Jersey with interactive exhibits and ability to play with toys before purchase. Today (2018) it lasted over 65 years with over 800 stores in the United States, and over 800 in other countries. They expanded as a chain focusing on toys. In 1969 they gained their mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe that appears through the store and on its advertisements. They branched out to a separate facility chain know as “Babies “R” Us” which sometimes operates as a separate store or often combined with “Toys R Us”. In the past they experimented with other facilities such as Toys R’ Us Express and Kids R’ Us which went defunct. Toys R’ Us filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States on September 18, 2017 and filed bankruptcy protection in Canada. On March 14, 2018 they announced that all Toys R’ Us stores in the United Kingdom would close, then the next day announced that all the United States operations would close. They claim this is the best strategic move to handle their $5 billion in back debt, borrow $2 billion to pay suppliers for the upcoming holiday season and invest in improving current operations. The closures will not affect the Asian, European, and Australian stores. January 2018 they announced they would liquidate and close up to 182 of its stores in the United States as part of its restructuring. It then turned to completely shutting down all of the U.S. stores. April 21, 2018 the Irish rival “Smyths” store claimed it would purchase all the Toys R’ Us stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and will re-brand them. April 24, 2018 the Canadian division was sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd for $234 million.
Rated: 4.5 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~
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