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Toys R Us To Close All 800 of Its US Stores (washingtonpost.com) 195

Toy store chain Toys R Us is reportedly planning to sell or close all 800 of its U.S. stores (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), affecting as many as 33,000 jobs as the company winds down its operations after six decades. The Washington Post reports: The news comes six months after the retailer filed for bankruptcy. The company has struggled to pay down nearly $8 billion in debt -- much of it dating back to a 2005 leveraged buyout -- and has had trouble finding a buyer. There were reports earlier this week that Toys R Us had stopped paying its suppliers, which include the country's largest toy makers. On Wednesday, the company announced it would close all 100 of its U.K. stores. In the United States, the company told employees closures would likely occur over time, and not all at once, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.
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Toys R Us To Close All 800 of Its US Stores

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  • With a new twist.

    • Why is Toys R Us needed?

      We now have tablets and smartphones. The universal toy. The only toy some kids play with. They also no longer have any need or desire to venture into the strange and scary thing called "outdoors".

      With the advent of smart phones and tablets, parental responsibility is no longer needed. Of course, the more forward thinking people believed that with the advent of television. Or kids VHS tapes.
      • Going from routinely visiting Walmart, to a once in a blue moon trip to this exotic wonderland known as Toys R Us was quite an experience. I feel sad for kids these days.
      • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

        I guess you're joking - but I'll reply to you so my reply is near the top of the page ;-)

        It's a cute coincidence that this story appears on the same day as "How Amazon Became Corporate America's Nightmare". Having a physical toy store (or clothing store, or electronics store) in the neighborhood is a wonderful convenience - as a real-world browsing opportunity for your online purchases at Amazon, where you get free shipping (no need to lug the thing home in a cab), and low-overhead prices that physical sto

  • by tgibson ( 131396 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:29PM (#56262339) Homepage

    This is not surprising (Internet, etc. etc.). However, few things can compete with the sheer joy I had as a child when given the rare opportunity to roam the aisles of a Toys R' Us to discover, touch, test, and play with the toys. The "aisles" of Amazon are a poor substitute for a child.

    • by drewsup ( 990717 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:32PM (#56262351)

      The last time I had to be in one, its was like a KMart from 20 years ago, poor, uncovered fluorescent lighting, drab interior, no nothing staff, Smyths seems to be the better version these days

      • Yeah, I haven't been in one for almost two decades, but my experience was similar to yours. It felt more like a set of a David Lynch movie with all of the underlying sense of dread that place was giving off. I don't have any memories of going to one as a young child though, so I can't be sure if it's just nostalgia through a rose-colored lens or if there was a time when it was wonderful in reality as in memory.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          ToysRUs was always expensive and a dreary place. I knew that even when I was a kid. I did not care then because *TOYS*. KayBee was more fun to be at. Several of the toy stores around me are actual fun to be in. A ToysRUs was always a warehouse of toys. When you are a kid you see toys. When you get older you realize what it is. Even the checkout in most of them feels like you have just checked out a can of beans from an underground bunker instead of buying something cool.

          Nostalgia was not what I woul

          • by Geeky ( 90998 )
            And they treat all customers like potential shoplifters. You can't take bags in (here in the UK), so you have to leave your other shopping at the bag check. I refused to go in once because I had my laptop bag with me and wasn't going to risk leaving that behind the checkout desk
      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        Additionally, last time I was there, it was a big store... with very little in it. I was amazed how they had pretty much none of the toys my kid was looking for.

      • by pots ( 5047349 )
        Their location in Time Square is fantastic. Of course that's a showpiece location, they put extra effort into making it really nice, but it's terrific.

        For the parent: Yes online shopping has hurt retailers like Toys R Us, but the summary mentions a leveraged buyout - this is likely the bigger reason. Those result in an appallingly high rate of bankruptcy for the victim company.
      • by twdorris ( 29395 )

        no nothing staff

        Oh, the irony.

    • I was born 1985, I've been to Toys r Us less than 5 times in these 33 years.

      There just isn't any point in a toys only store. Even without the internet toys can and will be sold anywhere. They're literally competing against the whole world. Well they were anyways.

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        There just isn't any point in a toys only store. Even without the internet toys can and will be sold anywhere.

        Such as where, particularly outside major cities? Toys R Us had a far larger selection than, say, Walmart.

        • by DedTV ( 1652495 )
          Back in the 80s, my local Toys-R-Us had rows and rows of toys, 3 full rows (3x as long as the rows they have now) of video games, multiple rows of hobby stuff like model rockets, remote control cars and planes, model trains and high end slot car parts. Hell, I used to buy computer components from Toys-R-Us.
          Now, My local (NW Arkansas) Walmart has 6 rows of toys, plus 2 long rows of video games and accessories in the Electronics section. However the local Toys-R-Us (as of last summer, the last time I was in t
          • To be fair, we live in the heart of Wal-Mart country and shouldnâ(TM)t assume the other 8,000 stores look like our 30ish stores.

            Oddly the Toys R Us in Fort Smith is actually a lot better than the one in Fayetteville and the BRU is separated by a partition and feels like a separate store.

          • by edwdig ( 47888 )

            You're in the area where land is cheap and Walmarts are huge. If you get into more densely populated regions, Walmarts are a tiny fraction of the size they are by you. Up in the northeast, a Walmart and a Toys R Us are often about the same size. While Toys R Us has a little baby stuff, Babies R Us is a separate store that's almost as big.

      • Born in 76. As a child, going to a toy store was an experience all on its own. The lights, sounds, action, the figures and hottest trends. My personal favorite to see were bikes, LEGOâ(TM)s, G.I.Joe, Nerf, Video games and their display, etc.

        What kids go out these days? Where are the parents that arnt so busy to take them?

        Toy stores died because of a culture that valued them did too.

        • Born in '59. When I was little we had stores called 'dime stores' which were filled with toys, but everything in the store was five or ten cents.

          • Born in '59. When I was little we had stores called 'dime stores' which were filled with toys, but everything in the store was five or ten cents.

            Born in '58. Did you grow up in Canada? I know we called them 'dime stores' here, but I had the impression that Americans used the terms '5 and 10 cent store' or '5 and dime'. Anyway, Mom used to wheel me through Woolworth's and Kresge's in a stroller. Lots of toys to be sure, but even at the age of 3 I was much more interested in the hardware section, with its electrical connectors and batteries. My most beloved 'toys' were batteries, motors, magnets, old radios to take apart, flashlights and their bulbs -

      • I was born 1985, I've been to Toys r Us less than 5 times in these 33 years.

        There just isn't any point in a toys only store. Even without the internet toys can and will be sold anywhere. They're literally competing against the whole world. Well they were anyways.

        Born in 1980 and have been to Toys R Us more times than I could count. While toys in general were sold in other places, TRU had way more selection and stock and even carried (in ours) things like RC cars/toys, trains, model rockets, etc. that other places didn't have or only had a very small supply of.

        Going to TRU as a kid was a huge deal for me, even if we weren't well off enough to buy too much from there. It was just fun to see all the neat and cool toys/model/hobby stuff in there and when you're young,

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @08:06PM (#56262515) Homepage

      It's called austerity. With the gutting of the middle class to feed the insatiable rich (can never ever have too much), there is very little money left to buy expensive toys and thus the economy implodes. Perhaps the can be an interesting measure of a countries economy, how much they spend on toys for children per capita, would be some interesting results, pretty much gaurantee the US would not be in the top ten.

      • how much they spend on toys for children per capita

        The U.S. would easily be #1. Why save money on healthcare or education when little Susie absolutely must have the new Tickle Me Elmo or the Cabbage Patch Doll? We can't have her be the kid that's not cool can we?!?!

      • One of the fun things about the Internet is how much random data you can find in just a few seconds. For example, the toy spending per child of various countries. [statista.com]

        pretty much gaurantee the US would not be in the top ten.

        And you'd be totally and completely wrong. Try #3, roughly the same (within 3%) of the top two, Australia and Great Britain.

        Of course, you're also wrong in regards to the middle class and the rich and about austerity, so it's not a shocker that you're also wrong about toys.

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @08:29PM (#56262589) Homepage Journal

      It is a shame. It kinda is surprising, as toys are, as you point out, one of the few things left where in-store sales and browsing works best.

      I say kinda, because the reasons are actually fairly well known and have nothing to do with Amazon or the Internet. TrU was bought a few years ago by an asset stripping private equity group. They essentially buy a business with the help of a massive loan, saddle the purchased business with the loan, and then extract every penny they can until the company cannot pay back the loan, and then it's bankruptcy, liquidation, and onto the next target.

      And it's all legal. So a bunch of people are losing their jobs because some jackasses figured out how to "borrow" money you have no intention of paying back. We need stronger powers for bankruptcy judges in this country, but good luck getting them when the executive is basically the people who pull this shit, and congress is basically a bunch of people owned by the people who pull this shit. .

      • TrU was bought a few years ago by an asset stripping private equity group.

        If this model works so great, why don't the pirates buy Google, too? Just imagine the size of a Google squeeze.

        Obviously, the underlying reason that TrU was targetting in the first place is because it was a vulnerable business, clearly facing into a stiff, online-retail head wind, and the bottom-feeding pirates could clamber aboard at an affordable hoard of highly leveraged ducats.

        Why #3: What prevented TrU from defending itself with

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        It kinda is surprising, as toys are, as you point out, one of the few things left where in-store sales and browsing works best.

        Kids these days want things like apps, subscriptions and video games, as well as traditional toys. Browsing isn't so important... And actually, even back when I was a kid most of the browsing I did was in catalogues.

        Toys'R'Us could have survived that if they had been better at making attractive stores that kids wanted to go to. Not the big warehouses they built, but destinations. I think the industry term is "retail theatre". It's like those "Build a Bear" places, it's pretty much impossible to survive just

    • This is not surprising (Internet, etc. etc.). However, few things can compete with the sheer joy I had as a child when given the rare opportunity to roam the aisles of a Toys R' Us to discover, touch, test, and play with the toys. The "aisles" of Amazon are a poor substitute for a child.

      Or the aisles of Walmart.

      Giving away my age (neolithic) here, but for me nothing compared with the old Sears Christmas catalog.

    • Mine was during the 2nd weekend of the Wii release. There was a line waiting for Target to open, with about 75 people standing out front (I got there about 5 minutes before opening). An employee opened the doors to announce that they didn't have any. I knew GameStop wouldn't have them, and I wasn't about to go to Wal-Mart or the other Target. It suddenly dawned on me that Toys 'R Us was right down the street. I hoped in the car and swung by there, about 2 minutes before opening. There were only 2 folk

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      It's not just toys. It's many things like new stuff that I have never used before. I still prefer seeing, touching, trying, etc. for those. IO will buy online if I know the products and find cheaper prices that in person retail stores won't pricematch.

    • "However, few things can compete with the sheer joy I had as a child when given the rare opportunity to roam the aisles of a Toys R' Us to discover, touch, test, and play with the toys. The "aisles" of Amazon are a poor substitute for a child."

      Buy stock in a thrift store chain then. The toy isle of a second hand store like value village is a kids paradise. all the toys are out of the annoying packaging, and free to play with and test. And there are very few toys over the 10 dollar mark.

      I usually get an hour

    • by rworne ( 538610 )

      What was really interesting is that for a while when TRU went online, they did not run their own website - weren't they originally hosted on Amazon back in 2000?

      It appears so [toysrusinc.com]

    • Growing up in the Philly area, we had Kiddie City, which was much like Toys R Us, and it was okay to go there sometimes, but not really great. By the time Toys R Us showed up, I was old enough not to care so much, and I agree with the comment here that it "was like a KMart from 20 years ago, poor, uncovered fluorescent lighting, drab interior, know nothing staff". For me, there were two toy shopping experiences that trumped everything.

      One, looking through the Sears catalog. Sears was the wizard of mercha

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:34PM (#56262359)

    All the Toys R Us kids have grown up.

  • by klingens ( 147173 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:36PM (#56262381)

    They died due to greed from owners and investors:
    "KKR, Bain and Vornado purchased Toys "R" Us in 2005 in a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout, but more than $5.3 billion of the purchase price was paid using debt."

    8 billions of debt, at least 5.3 purely due to the buyout. Maybe their future wouldn't be so good with Internet, etc. but it's not what killed them today, the leveraged buyout did.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They died due to greed from owners and investors:

      Owners I'll grant, but investors? Nope, the term you want is corporate raiders.

      They feasted on the corpse of Toys "R" Us, and the rest of us bear the price of letting those vicious hyenas live.

    • Oh yeah, I am sure they are thrilled their investment is going bankrupt. That doesn't make any sense. The buyout was in 2005. They were making money until 2013, when Amazon became mainstream. Amazon killed them.
      • More precisely, smartphones combined with Amazon killed them. Internet shopping before the smart phone became ubiquitous wasn't really as big of a competitor to brick and mortar because if you wanted to browse then buy you had to go to the store, find what you wanted, note it down, then go home and order it and *maybe* you could save a little money. Enter the smart phone and now you can you can browse at the store, then quickly check online to see if you can find it cheaper.
      • Try looking at their numbers and see if it makes more sense
        http://getfilings.com/o0001193... [getfilings.com]

        Little difficult to make money with all that debt payment they didn't have before.
        https://www.sec.gov/Archives/e... [sec.gov]

        In 2005 they had $47m in long term debt. As of October 2017 it was $4.761B. Please explain to me how they acquired and additions 4+ billion in debt? Might it happen to have anything to do with a $7.5B buyout would it?
        https://www.bloomberg.com/news... [bloomberg.com]

  • Not surprising. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:48PM (#56262421) Homepage

    Their toys are mindless un-fun corporate shit.

    My kids are always bored there. We've found much more fun toys at Target, not to mention Amazon.com, whatever you think of both companies. We bought a potato-driven clock and a home-terrarium kit on Amazon.com for under $10 each that the kids enjoyed. They get TinkerCrate which they also enjoy, and I consider it expensive at $29 a crate. But walk into a Toys'R'Us and all you can get is 8" plastic action figures in garish colors for $49.99 each.

    Toys'R'Us should be called AMillionFlashyBrandedOverpricedActionFigures'R'Us.

    At least near us, the two stores had no science kits, no craft stuff, no learning toys to speak of, no building toys to speak of, no creative toys of any kind. The best section were bikes and skateboards in the back. The rest is literally wall-to-wall action figures from cartoons that my kids have never heard of because cartoons are so twenty years ago and we don't have TV. They are much more interested in apps than in TV.

    Toys'R'Us is selling toys from decades ago—thousands of them, all the same, and for 4x what they ought to cost.

    • Re:Not surprising. (Score:5, Informative)

      by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @08:29PM (#56262591) Homepage

      No. This is wildly untrue. There's huge amounts of science kits and craft stuff. [toysrus.com] There's some action figures, but really not that much. There's actually a large variety of toys, and given that Target has a smaller selection, a ToysRUs has all the toys a Target will have.

      They didn't do anything wrong, just the business model was outdated. It went the way of camera stores or bookstores. The way BestBuy or Fry's will go sometime in the next decade...swallowed by Amazon.com (and to a lesser extent, Walmart/Target). It costs a little bit more, and busy parents would rather order something online than drive 15 minutes down the road (or at least, that's how I am).

      • No. This is wildly untrue. There's huge amounts of science kits and craft stuff.

        GP talked about his experience walking into his local store, and you cite as counterexample their website. That, sir, is bullshit.

        They didn't do anything wrong, just the business model was outdated.

        This thread is full of counterexamples. You may not have encountered them doing anything wrong, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. But you're sure that you know more than this whole thread full of people.

        That's dumb.

        • by Pascoea ( 968200 )

          It's not that hard... There's a big damn button in the middle of the screen, "Store Pickup". 97 of the 114 items in the link posted are available to pick up locally in 1 hour. (Obviously ymmv based on your physical location. I'm in a metro area, I would expect Podunk would have a lower selection)

          The problem with the science kits and educational toys is they likely don't make as much money on them as they do on the TV/Movie/Cartoon related crap. Which one of those is going to be place more prominently in

          • It's likely that all of the "good" stuff he was looking for was there, but drowned out over the noise of the "mindless un-fun corporate shit."

            Let's face it, even that would be a failure of the store. But most likely, there's only a tiny selection of that kind of stuff in the store if anything at all. Most educational toys have been pushed out to educational toy stores. I'd argue that the fact such a thing even exists is a testament to the failure of the big toy stores.

      • and they walk around for a few minutes with a distant look on their faces and then ask to leave, it is a shitty toy store.

        I have no idea if they had a science kit in the back somewhere, or the microscope we got at Target on a top shelf somewhere (no doubt it would have cost at least double what we paid at Target) but the fact is, I have two young kids and on the couple of occasions we've gone there (once to spend a bundle of grandparent-given birthday money), both kids were, like *so meh*.

        If you're a toy st

    • The ones near here were nearly 1/3 full of Lego sets and similar. Big wall of board games, outdoor toys like bikes. I suppose it probably varies by area.
  • by oldgraybeard ( 2939809 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:51PM (#56262441)
    I grew up in rural northern Wisconsin on a farm 10 miles from a town with 800 people. It had a Sears and Roebuck store. Well no goods just a catalog order center, along with 15+ actual stores on main street. Once a year the new Sears and Roebuck catalog came out and in the fall came the Sears and Roebuck Christmas catalog and that was the object of childhood dreams.

    Sears another old company that is dying ;) Some brick and mortar will survive in urban areas. But the real retail sales numbers will be online sales. Especially in rural America, online sales (Amazon) is the new Sears. Sears could have done it, but they did not see that vision of an online future. Like most entrenched old players. They got to comfortable. An upstart had to come in with a new vision.

    Just my 2 cents ;)
    • by Strider- ( 39683 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @08:06PM (#56262519)

      Sears another old company that is dying ;) Some brick and mortar will survive in urban areas. But the real retail sales numbers will be online sales. Especially in rural America, online sales (Amazon) is the new Sears. Sears could have done it, but they did not see that vision of an online future. Like most entrenched old players. They got to comfortable. An upstart had to come in with a new vision.

      The sad part is that Sears should have cleaned up when it came to the Internet. They had all the pieces to become what Amazon is today. Back in the days of yore, they had one of the most impressive computing systems to run their inventory management/prediction/ordering of any retail corporation. They also ran one of the early online services, Prodigy (along with IBM).

      And then, they rested on their laurels, and suffered the fate that they have. If anything, they should have converted their catalog system to the Internet, and started to shutter their retail operations. But they didn't.

      • he took that Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged nonsense to heart and pitted his staff against each other in competition. The idea was the weak would perish and the strong thrive. In practice they stabbed each other in the back since it didn't matter how bad your team did so long as the other team did worse.
      • by sootman ( 158191 )

        And the ironic part is, Sears *started* as a mail-order-only company -- the 1800s equivalent to a modern online-only company.

        Sears, Roebuck and Company, colloquially known as Sears, is an American chain of department stores founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1892 and 1906... the operation began as a mail ordering catalog company and began opening retail locations in 1925.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sears

      • The sad part is that Sears should have cleaned up when it came to the Internet. They had all the pieces to become what Amazon is today.

        Apparently not. Their e-commerce site was a flaming bag of dog crap and their prices were typically 2-4 times as much as Amazon's. They had neither the technical competence nor the managerial competence to carry that off. They had all the other pieces, though.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        We have similar stories in the UK with successful catalogue shops like Argos and Littlewoods. The problem seems to be that they were unable to see past their existing business model but "on the internet".

        They thought no-one would want to pay for postage. They thought people wouldn't want to wait in for deliveries, or even trust shopping by mail. They thought their web sites should be just like their catalogues, and definitely not full of user's comments and honest reviews.

        Actually Maplin, which just went bu

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      It sounds like your 'Sears Catalog' experience colsely parallels a modern-day Amazon.com experience.

      Me, I was a nerd. I spent my adolescence with the Jameco and Allied Radio catalogs as wishbooks.

    • Sears another old company that is dying ;) [...] They got to comfortable. An upstart had to come in with a new vision.

      Sears turned into total shitlords. Their policies are bullshit and they can't go under soon enough. I've got Craftsman's most expensive torque wrench. The handle came loose, so you can't tell what torque setting you're requesting any more. But torque wrenches aren't covered by lifetime warranty like the rest of their tools, even if it fails because of a manufacturing defect that has nothing to do with the torque mechanism, so I'm just fucked. We bought an AC unit from them and it failed while sitting, proba

  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:53PM (#56262449)

    Sad, as with all institutions of our lives, but at the same time, I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did.

    I can't think of anything you can find at a Toys R Us that you can't find at a Walmart, say. Amazon owns online toy sales. And even the nature of toys has shifted a lot.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I remember walking through those isles as a child, in awe. Those tall glass walls on either side full of NES, Genesis, and SNES games. Domino rallies, Super Soakers, Lego sets.... Amazing memories. I hope children will still get to experience the same thing elsewhere.

    • ... Amazing memories. I hope children will still get to experience the same thing elsewhere.

      Between other posts about online shopping and my late-night dyslexia, I mis-read that as "Amazon Memories". O tempora o mores!

  • Customer Service (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @07:57PM (#56262469) Homepage Journal

    Must've been ten years ago because my daughter was four, a couple weeks after Christmas they wouldn't let her exchange a duplicate toy with a copy of the receipt because her grandmother (300 miles away) was the purchaser.

    Everybody involved was pissed or upset except for the smarmy clerk who was delighted to disappoint by enforcing corporate policy. I hope she got a promotion and stayed with the company.

    Since then she's had an Amazon wishlist and sometimes gets Walmart gift cards. Because both of them (especially Amazon) do a petty good job with customer service.

    Toys R Us will say that Walmart and Amazon killed them - but in reality they self-destructed.

    • Walmart is 'crappy' in some ways, but they have over-the-top customer-friendly customer service counters. You can return about anything, and since the employees are just Walmart Employees, they don't care. It's a no-brainer to buy anything you might want at WalMart because it's so easy to change your mind if you have second thoughts. And that's even with stuff like Laptops and Tablets.

  • One, of course, is "the internet" though - IMO - a truly innovative company could easily adapt to that but when you combine the corporate piracy of private equity loading these companies with debt (which, Oh! BTW! Precludes making the necessary investments to make "One" no just less a threat but a real opportunity) in order to make them more attractive for selling off, then you have this kind of mess. Marx called it: it's the Capitalists who will kill capitalism, sadly.
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @08:05PM (#56262501)
    Yet another company that got Bained [youtube.com]. Kay-Bee had the same thing done to them. Can we just ban leveraged buyouts already?
  • A new chain of empty store fronts brought to you by Toys Rn't Us. Right next to your local Radio Shack.
    • All that open and cheap retail space: it's an opportunity for more flea markets.

      • Is it even retail space anymore? Or just empty? There’s a 60’s era suburban strip mall near me that today is mostly low-end retail (check cashing, fly-by-night tax returns, that kind of thing) if it’s occupied at all. The department store that was its anchor is now a datacenter, but only because it’s across the street from an AT&T central office and the rent is next to nothing. From the outside, it looks boarded up (to disguise its function, no doubt).
  • Children's Palace (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the-matt-mobile ( 621817 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @08:12PM (#56262539)
    My mom used to work at Children's Palace (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_World), which was a competing toy store in the 80's. Toy R Us would build their stores right next to them to try to put them out of business. When the weekly flyers came out for sales on things like baby food and diapers, Toys R Us would send their employees over to Children's Palace to buy up all the sale items in the flyer so that they were out of stock, causing angry customers - many of whom were low income. Toys R Us minions would sometimes just throw away the merchandise in the trash outside the store after their raids. My mom had a lot of stories about their guerrilla retail tactics. Toys R Us eventually won out and Children's Palace went out of business, but my parents never let us go there. Bankruptcy couldn't have happened to a more deserving company, albeit 30 years too late.
  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @08:17PM (#56262559)
    I guess I'm going to have to let my kids roam the aisles of my local Amazon warehouse. Just stay out of the way of the robots.
    • Knowing my kids (at least the way they were 30 years ago), they'd be riding the robots.

      Now they'd be busy trying to keep their own kids off the robots.

      grass. You know what to do.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    As a kid I wanted to work there when I grew up. Its a sad day. So many toy stores have closed.

  • by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2018 @09:38PM (#56262805)

    The private equity consortium that bought Toys R Us in 2007 and loaded it with 7.5 large in debt [google.com]. When I think of it, I can only think of the Dr. Cox quote from Scrubs: "Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard coated bastards with bastard filling."

    And they laughed all the way to the bank.

  • Where are the Jarts?

  • So, too late to exchange those old Geoffrey Dollars [reddit.com] for Bitcoin?

  • Hindsight is 20/20, but it is amazing that you would have to point out to a highly paid "business" executive that maybe there is a better use for billions of dollars than stock buybacks. If they had invested that billion in 1998 in ways to better compete in the future, who knows.
  • Debt riddled husk leftover from a leveraged buyout plundering by private equity.

  • Toys R Us jumped the shark back in the mid-90s when they started reducing inventory and changing their store layouts to be more like a boutique of toys rather than a warehouse of toys. Followed by dropping long-time employees in favor of illegal (low-wage) immigrants and reducing the number of cashiers. For a brief period of time in the early to mid 2000's they attempted to take online seriously with decent deals and fast shipping but even that went downhill fast. It's shocking they never bothered to invest

  • Bain keeps popping up today, like a blight let's see Toy's R US and now I Heart Radio [nypost.com] and what do they have in common? LBOs lead by Bain.

    These private equity firms create nothing except debt and huge profits for themselves and their customers.

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