March 14, 2018
by Patricia Garrett
Toys “R” Us (which also owns Babies “R” Us) will be closing or selling all of its U.S. and U.K. stores, the company has announced. Toys “R” Us currently has about 1,600 stores worldwide, with about 880 of those stores in the United States. According to the New York Times, about 30,000 jobs in the U.S. will be affected by the closures, which are expected to be completed before the end of 2018. The news of the closures comes after Toys “R” Us filed or Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2017. The company owes about $5 billion in long-term debt.
Founded in 1948, Toys “R” Us reigned for many years as the world’s leading retailer for toys. The company was known for its Geoffrey giraffe mascot and for an advertising jingle that featured the saying, “I don’t want to grow up. I’m a Toys “R” Us kid.” In recent years, the company’s business was significantly eroded by competitors such as Amazon and Walmart, which have been able to offer larger inventories of toys and bigger discounts. According to several published reports, the holiday 2017 shopping season was disastrous for Toys “R” Us and was the final nail in the coffin for the company.
Although the Toys “R” Us brick-and-mortar stores will be closing, the Toys “R” Us brand could still live online, since the company is weighing several offers to buy the brand. If the Toys “R” Us brand name is sold, it will very likely be used for an online retail business.