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Goodbye to Toys “R” Us

Bethany Seal, Sports Editor

Anyone who grew up in America with a love for toys has heard of Toys “R” Us, which is why so many people of different ages were upset to discover that it is shuttering all of its U.S. locations. It was confirmed by the company on March 15th that all of their U.S. stores were closing, causing the heartache of toy lovers nationwide.

This was not the original plan, as their intention was to only close around a hundred of their stores in hopes of amending the ones that remained. Unfortunately, $5 billion in liabilities followed the company all the way up until its bankruptcy in 2017, and the overload of debt weighed them down more as the years went on.

Competition became extremely pressuring when online retailers like Amazon and E-Bay gained popularity over the years, making a trip to Toys “R” Us a rare occurrence for families who do their shopping online. Lastly, the fact that they were distracted by the bankruptcy during the time that they were preparing for a busy holiday season was just unlucky timing.

Unfortunately, Toys “R’ Us founder Charles Lazarus passed away on March 22nd at 94-years-old, adding to the sadness surrounding the bankruptcy. In 1948, the company served as baby furniture store, but Lazarus later decided to exclusively sell toys, and he opened the first official Toys “R” Us in 1957 in Maryland. People knew him by his never-ending optimism and love for all children, and many are sad that the foundation of the company did not get to see the way it ends.

Most Americans who grew up with a love for toys remember taking trips to Toys “R” Us. It is hard to see something that took up so much of our childhood be taken away, but it was the best option for the company after their bankruptcy. From now until all of their American locations close entirely, every store is having major sales and clearances to prepare for the closing, and stores like Target and Walmart will most likely receive business from those who relied on Toys “R” Us for their shopping in the past.

 

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