The lyric “I don’t wanna grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid” was burned into the pop culture lexicon for generations, but more recently, Toys R Us has faced a stark reality: Many of those former Toys R Us kids are all grown up now and the toy store is no longer the financial success it once was.
Toys R Us — effectively the last man standing in the major toy retail market — announced Wednesday that it would be liquidating and closing or selling all 800 of its stores, multiple media outlets reported. This closure leaves a gaping hole in the retail landscape, but what does it mean for you?
Click through to see retailers that have closed the most stores, and find out what Toys R Us closures mean for the U.S.
Toys R Us Closures by the Numbers
“This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years,” Toys R Us CEO Dave Brandon said in a statement. “I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the company’s U.S. operations.”
GOBankingRates took a look at the Toys R Us closures by the numbers.
Over 800 Stores Will Get the Axe
Toys R Us filed its official liquidation paperwork on Thursday morning, confirming its intent to sell or close its approximately 800 stores left in the U.S. Open for nearly seven decades, this final move closes the door on big-box, toy-centric retailers across the U.S.
Across the pond, the axe came early for the Toys R Us brand: With news of financial instability imminent, the chain’s collapse led to the demise of 100 stores in the United Kingdom to abruptly shutter — putting 3,000 people out of work, BBC.
The chain had a global reach beyond the UK. The chain announced Thursday that “it is pursuing a reorganization and a sale process for its businesses in Asia and Central Europe, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Its businesses in Australia, France, Poland, Portugal and Spain are considering their options, including a potential sale,” CNBC reported.
Also See: The Rise and Fall of Sears
Canada Might Save the Day for 200 Stores
You might not have to say goodbye to Geoffrey the Giraffe forever if Toys R Us can successfully see through its last-ditch effort. Higher-ups at the company have drafted a proposal that would keep the lights on at 200 U.S. stores, according to a report by CNBC. The plan, which has a potential to save nearly a quarter of the stores as well as the jobs that come with them, is contingent on Canada. The Toys R Us Canadian brand is still going strong and the company has no intention of liquidating the Canadian business. This plan would hinge on selling 200 of the most profitable U.S. stores to the Canadians, effectively moving management up to the Great White North.
Not Just Toys — Babies, Too
The Toys R Us brand includes more than just the Toys R Us label — it also encompasses the Babies R Us brand. In the past, the company also owned the clothing-centric Kids R Us brand, which it announced it was closing in 2003, as well as the FAO Schwarz brand, which it purchased in May of 2006.
The Closures Mean Over 33,000 Jobs Lost
With stores in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the massive closures will lead to massive layoffs as well. At the announcement of the closures, Toys R Us CEO Dave Brandon announced employees would have 60 more days of employment — leaving over 33,000 employees nationwide without a job after that period.
The End Began Months Ago With 180 Stores
The chain had already reportedly begun liquidating over 180 stores in early February in a last-ditch effort to restructure assets. The initial closures, which affected most states, were handpicked in an attempt to stop those locations from being “cannibalized” by other, pre-existing stores. In a report from analysts to the chain in December, 183 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in the U.S. had at least one other location within a 15-minute drive, so these initial closings were meant as an attempt to minimize saturation of those markets and help stop the bleeding.
Over 32,000,000 Square Feet of Unoccupied Real Estate Space
Once the closures come to pass, Toys R Us will be leaving a massive real estate footprint in its wake — one which not many retailers are ready or able to adequately fill. With most stores clocking in at about 40,000 square feet — some as large as 65,000 — not many retailers currently in business are occupying that much space, so most former Toys R Us and Babies R Us storefronts are facing extensive remodeling to bring them down to size.
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