In a press release of March 15 (article) Toys “R” Us has announced an ‘orderly wind-down’ of its business in the US after the disappointing results over the festive season of December 2017. Inventory in the 735 stores spread across the US will be liquidated.
When will the sales take place?
The company will soon announce details of the going out of business sales. Keep a close eye on the Toys “R” Us store locator to find out exactly when the sales will be taking place.
IT HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED, MARCH 22ND THE SALES WILL START AND INCREASE BY 25% EACH WEEK, UNTIL MAY 14TH WHEN LIQUIDATORS WILL COME IN A GET RID OF EVERYTHING!
What happens to the stores?
Stores will have sales with the discounts getting bigger towards the deadline of May 14th – this is the date to which employees will be paid, then on May 15th the liquidators will move in and close out any items remaining on the shelves. Negotiations are underway with possible buyers for the embattled toy company, but the fact remains that they are going into liquidation in the US, and have filed for bankruptcy. What happens further down the road with the stores remains to be settled.
What about my gift-card?
If you have a gift-card these will be honored until April 13th so make sure to get down to a store near you soon and use your card. Although some people may be tempted to wait until the last moment to use the gift card in hope of scoring on the price reductions one needs to bear in mind that the top toys will go quickly – so use the gift-card before Easter and give the kids a special surprise. Gift cards will no longer be sold in Toys “R” Us stores throughout the US with immediate effect. It is also worthwhile to bear I mind that should a company file for bankruptcy there is no legal obligation to honor gift cards – so all the more reason to use those gift cards ASAP, seeing as the company has given the one month option to use them.
When will the website close?
The website could remain in operation if a buyer is found for the US operation. Should the negotiations be unsuccessful then that could mean the end of the Toys “R” Us website in the US. British operations are carrying on as usual.
What does this mean for toy prices?
Competition in the industry keeps prices reasonable. With the closure of Toys “R” Us removing a large player in the toy market, it means other companies can up their prices. A competitive market is always a good thing and control by only a few retail giants could mean higher toy prices.
What about Babies”R” Us?
Sadly these stores are also set to close. There may be hope if the sales negotiation for the Canadian stores and the top performing US stores can be successfully negotiated. In the meantime, if you have a gift-voucher for Babies “R” Us the same advice applies – use it ASAP. Do not wait and risk losing it.
What does this mean for me?
The closures mean that you can rush in and do Christmas shopping super early and miss all the drama at the end of the year where stores are over-crowded. Just make sure those toys are stored safely away from prying little eyes and hands. Make a list of birthdays coming up for kids and also buy some extra toys for the times when youngsters are invited to a party at the last minute – it’s going to mean a less hectic year after the crush of the closing down sales. Oh, and summer is coming so buy the pool-play and summer fun items too.
Although the New Jersey-based chain of Toys “R” Us, US, is set to close one of every five of its US stores, 20 in the Tristate area and 12 in New Jersey alone, including Cherry Hill, the dates for the closing down sales have been postponed. The reason given by the company is that they need more time to plan. Although sales at 144 stores began in early February the second round of sales is still being organized in order to generate the maximum impact and create a sense of urgency for shoppers.
Many lined up yesterday to try to get the best deals at ToysRUs and BabysRUs, only to be disappointed. About half an hour before the open the company tweeted “DUE, TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL, THE LIQUIDATION SALE HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE”. E-Mails to the company went unanswered. One Employee has suggested that the sales will start either today or Saturday.
Online sales erode retail
It is sad for the roughly 30,000 staff who will be affected by the closures. The Amazon, Target, and Walmart online marketplace has eroded into the Toys R Us market, but online sales are not the only reason for the financial woes of the US stores.
Toy-shopping a sensory experience for children
What can beat the actual physical experience of going into a toy store and being able to touch the shiny cars and robotic toys, smell the plush fabric on cuddly toys, be wowed by the sheer size of some of the displays, get down and peep inside dollhouses to view and touch the tiny little figures and furniture?
By shopping online are we depriving our children of an amazing sensory experience? Toy stores have been around for centuries. Think of the iconic Hamley’s toy store in London that opened in 1760 as Noah’s Ark in High Holborn, London then moved in 1881 to its site in Regent Street, where it has been ever since, covering seven floors and stocking over 50,000 toy lines. In the US Toys “R” Us has been around since 1957. Charles P. Lazarus, the founder started a children’s furniture store in 1948 before switching over to toys.
Founder has passed away
Toys “R” Us announced the passing of the founder of the company Charles P. Lazarus at the age of 94 as the company goes through the processes of liquidation of many of its stores. Could his name be prophetic – as the Biblical Lazarus rose from death, perhaps the company may survive?
Light on the horizon
Isaac Larian, The CEO of MGA Entertainment Inc, a leading privately held toy and entertainment company that manufactures and markets the Bratz dolls and LOL Surprise as well as Little Tykes, among others, has launched a bid to save the beleaguered Toys “R” Us in the US, by personally spurring a campaign among investors to raise around $1 million. In fact Toys “R” Us has been responsible for 20% of the Bratz doll sales, so one can understand the desire to get involved to save a company that helped MGAE rise to its present position.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to crowdfund this investment idea. People who pledge will be given various special edition toys like the Little Tykes, LOL Surprise and T-shirts, depending on the size of the donation. It’s a commendable effort to preserve the joys of visiting a real toy store that has become one of the traditions of childhood and will bring fond memories to millions of adults in the US.