Toys R Us closes all US stores

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Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby XvGojira » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:50 pm

Toys R Us to close all 800 of its U.S. stores

Toy store chain Toys R Us is planning to sell or close all 800 of its U.S. stores, affecting as many as 33,000 jobs as the company winds down its operations after six decades, according to a source familiar with the matter.
...
A group of toymakers led by MGA Entertainment, the giant behind brands such as L.O.L. Surprise!, Little Tikes and Bratz on Wednesday submitted a bid to buy Toys R Us’s Canadian arm, which includes 82 stores, according to Isaac Larian, MGA’s chief executive. He added that he is also looking into buying as many as 400 U.S. stores, which he would seek to operate under the Toys R Us name.

“There is no toy business without Toys R Us,” Larian said, noting that he sold his first product to the chain in 1979. “It’s a big deal and I’m going to try to salvage as much of it as possible.”
...
But in recent years, the company lost its footing as retailers like Walmart and Target began selling toys at lower profit margins. Toys R Us, which was saddled with billions in debt, couldn’t invest enough to keep its stores or websites competitive.

“We know that customers are willing to pay more for an enjoyable experience — just look at the lines at Starbucks every day — but Toys R Us has failed to give us anything special or unique,” Kelly O’Keefe, a professor of brand management at Virginia Commonwealth University, told The Washington Post this year. “You can find more zest for life in a Walgreens.”


I know most of our purchases are from importer companies, conventions, specialty stores, and what not but this is a HUGE blow.

I worked for a Toys R Us for little under a year and it was one of my favorite jobs (minus the credit card upsell crap while on a register) and just yesterday was contacted to set up an interview. Having had a hard timing finding a job recently and getting a call to set up an interview for a job there, sadly I don't think I'll be calling them back.

What do you think will happen now? Will smaller toy stores grow out of the vacuum left by their absence? Will internet stores continue to demolish brick and mortar competitors?
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby canofhumdingers » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:03 pm

XvGojira wrote: Will internet stores continue to demolish brick and mortar competitors?


Yes.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby lhb412 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:10 pm

From what I've read, TRU's business was in a slump over the last decade - yes, because of online shopping and Target and Walmart - but was essentially stable, rather it was done in by the venture capital types who bought it, loaded it with debt, and watched it crash because that's how things are done. I'm no businessman, but it seems you can make a lot of money doing this? Apparently, this is kinda common and totally legal?!
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby Jinzo Ningen » Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:30 am

lhb412 wrote:From what I've read, TRU's business was in a slump over the last decade - yes, because of online shopping and Target and Walmart - but was essentially stable, rather it was done in by the venture capital types who bought it, loaded it with debt, and watched it crash because that's how things are done. I'm no businessman, but it seems you can make a lot of money doing this? Apparently, this is kinda common and totally legal?!


Yup. Sadly, totally legal, as far as I am able to ascertain. Two of my favorite longtime shopping venues (both small-ish & family-owned) were bought by faceless corporate types, loaded up with their debt from their other interests, then ran into the ground... and closed up within 2 yrs. It's just sickening.

Eventually there will come a day when there won't be stores you can go to, walk around, try things on / examine in-person and actually "shop" in. There'll just be big satellite Amazon warehouses where battery-powered pick & package robots will scan your order, box up your stuff and then driverless vehicles will deliver it to your doorstep. Cold impersonal convenience - just a few mouse clicks away.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby klen7 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:15 am

^it's already very difficult (for me at least) to walk into a store and look for movies outside of new releases, they just aren't around anymore. Amazon and eBay (often the cheapest place to find movies) feed my movie buying

My most recent trip to TRU was with my 6 year old. She got a $50 gift card for her birthday and i told her she could pick out whatever she wanted. She picked a large $50 horse - fortunately TRU did price matching so we were able to show that you could get the same exact horse at Target for $30 - thats a heck of a mark-up.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby O.Supreme » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:57 am

as a fan of Transformers toys, this news of course has been all over the sites for a while. From the bankruptcy last September, to the first news of closures last week, until the final announcement yesterday. It is sad. TRU was such a great part of my childhood in the late 70's, and 80's. As an adult in the 90's and even early 2000's it was a great source for retro toys. But yes, in the past 10 years or so especially it has gone downhill in terms of customer service, price, and product availability. I feel sorry for all those who will be losing their jobs, but unfortunately greedy investors brought this upon themselves. Its just too bad that the only reliable places to get toys now will be Walmart & Target. Sure there are dozens of online options, but hunting through all those is tedious, and if something goes on sale, scalpers tend to buy them all up in short order, then try to hock them on eBay and Amazon for exorbitant prices. Just having a store dedicated to toys was as close to a *magical* experience I think any kid can have. My kids at least got to experience it a little, even though it was not in the glory days of TRU. But a friend of mine has a son just 6 months old. His only knowledge of a store solely dedicated to toys will be what his relatives will tell him about.

I currently have a $10 off "purchase of $75 or more" coupon in my wallet. I was thinking of getting the Voltron Legendary Defenders large Voltron set, which retails for $100. I was going to put it on layaway since I don't have exactly 100 to drop on a toy at this moment, but I guess that isn't happening...

Also TRU was in some cases, a good place to find exclusive toys you could not get anywhere else. Just this year, there is going to be a release of a new Hasbro Transformers Predaking toy. It was most likely going to be only found at TRU (and online at Hasbro toy shop, but that site is sooo screwed up, don't get me started)...Now I'm not sure how I'm going to obtain this item.

Oh and I've mentioned this story many times since I grew up in thjis area and visited ths store, but I guess it wont be an issue anymore heh... :wink:

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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby The Shadow » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:12 pm

I grew up on military bases so Toy R Us visits were extremely rare as a kid. It's very disappointing that Toy R Us has essentially been killed off -- as a kid there's nothing quite like walking into a store filled floor to ceiling with toys.

Toy R Us's size also enabled it to be one the few retailers to carry toys like those inexpensive Bandai Toho kaiju toys; K-Mart was the only other retailer I found those toys in when I was picking them up for my nephew. Wal-Mart & Target bothered to stock much outside of the latest product and even product that supposed to be carried chain-wide only showed up half the time at best.

More recently for me, Toy R Us has been one of the only places to reliably find a variety of Amiibo in stock; not that I'm a big collector but it was nice to check out TRU website and find more than couple amiibo that weren't being sold and high mark-up by third party sellers.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby Moonlight SY-3 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 11:25 pm

Sad to see them go in the US, although I can honestly say I have never once stepped foot into one over there. There never was one in my small South Georgia hometown, and if we went into the big cities, we'd hit actual hobby shops.

On the other hand, I go all the time here in Japan, where they do carry model kits and modeling supplies in addition to toys. And sadly enough, I just heard that our local ToysRUs here in Sano is closing as of April 1...big news, as that big shop is the anchor for one side of our Aeon mall, and a destination for me and my son every time we go to the mall. Not sure what the overall situation is with them in Japan, but our local one is soon to be gone, even though it's always packed with customers. Sad as that is, the Aeon department store in the mall plus the Kojima across the street pretty much carry the same items as ToysRUs, and usually at slightly better prices, so for consumers there's no loss, really. Just won't have that giraffe staring down at us anymore!
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:30 am

I can't recall the last time I stepped into a TRU...there's not really one super close by, so that doesn't help...it sucks any time these things happen because of all the people that lose their jobs, but I can't say I'll specifically miss Toys R Us or really anything about it. Even as a kid...it was a toy store...okay. I liked toys, so it was...cool? The end.

Seems like a lot of these kinds of things are actually reverting more toward just being small little specialty shops anyway. OR giant Amazon. There's no real use for a middle-sized thing like Toys R Us in 21st century America. A small little "shoppe" is gonna give that personal hands-on experience better and Amazon is gonna do pricing better. Best Buy is next.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby O.Supreme » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:50 am

jellydonut25 wrote: Best Buy is next.


That I can agree with, but I wont be sad to see it go, unlike TRU.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby jellydonut25 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:22 am

I'm not sad to see anything go. Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. Move on. Keep on truckin'. The future is now. Etc.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby canofhumdingers » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:47 am

I’ll be sad to see it go. There’s one not far from me and we’ve had a few really fun trips taking our two small boys for special events (like getting to spend the Christmas money from their great grandfather). I have really fond memories of those few very special trips to a store full or nothing but toys when I was small (although for me, it was Children’s Palace instead of Toys R Us). I’m happy that I was able to at least share that experience with my own kids before it was too late, even if they’re likely still to young to remember it once they’re adults. It does make me a little sad to see the last real toy store die away, but that’s the way of things. Amazon has permanently changed the way we shop and those who failed to adapt are disappearing.

It’s funny how the internet has simultaneously made it easier and more difficult to be a collector. Access to information has exploded exponentially making it far easier to learn about and track down toys and collectibles. But that easy-to-access info has also driven a spike in demand so much that sought after items can become nearly impossible to obtain if you’re not sitting ready to click as soon as preorders go live. It’s actually gotten rather frustrating in recent years. It was nice to occasionally pop into an actual toy store and just browse once in a while and get away from the insanity of the internet collecting community. Guess I’ll have to rely on comic shops and conventions for that now.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby lhb412 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:44 pm

Seems the revived KB Toys (!) is angling to fill the void Toys R Us will leave behind, even encouraging the soon-to-be former TRU workers to apply for jobs at KB!

https://nerdist.com/kb-toys-return-replace-toys-r-us/

This is pretty cool. I had a lot of good times at TRU as a kid, but I was far more familiar with KB because we'd go to the mall practically every weekend. Since indoor malls are going the way of the dodo I suppose the new KB will be a bit different.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby O.Supreme » Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:18 pm

jellydonut25 wrote: Let the past die. Kill it if you have to..


OK Kylo... :lol:
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby EricDent » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:46 pm

Hopefully that Bratz guy can keep it going (after a bit of a hiatus).
Also kinda cool that KB is coming back!

I worked at both Toys R Us & KB Toys.
Was sad to see KB go, and sad about Toys R Us.

Though I did check out the 2 local stores to see what they had.
Even at only 10% off, the shelves are kinda picked over.

Was kinda interested in a cute Godzilla plushie I saw there, but neither store had him.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby canofhumdingers » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:39 am

I think all the Godzilla merch got pulled by the manufacturers (was there anyone besides NECA?) before the sales started. I was in TRU just days before the announcement they were going out of business. They had a whole pile of brand new Neca Godzilla figure reissues on the pegs as well as several of the plush you mentioned.. I’ve been back twice since then trying to see if I could catch any deals and the Godzilla figures were not just gone from the pegs, but the pegs were re-labeled with different figures filling them. As if the Godzilla figures had never been there.

The first time I went back was maybe a week after I’d seen them. The rumors were that was the day the clearance started, but the rumors were wrong. But the Godzilla figures had already been “disappeared”.

I went back for the second time yesterday. The sale has started, but most stuff is only 10% off. My store was still very well stocked and they had signs up saying they would continue to get restocking shipments from the warehouses until the very last day. I plan to stop by a few more times if I have the chance to see if I can catch any killer deals on new stockas it trickles out. I’ve heard at least one report of a guy finding stuff from the upcoming Han Solo movie at a TRU, despite the street date for that stuff still a week away...
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby O.Supreme » Thu Apr 05, 2018 12:23 pm

I can see some manufacturers pulling product, if they can sell it online at full price. But the odd thing is, even though their signs currently say *up to 30% off* most premium name brands are only 5 or 10 % off currently, I know this will increase over time, but...I was shocked to see most of the Transformers gone, even at 10% off, that's still more expensive than getting them at Walmart or Target... :?: .
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby daikaijusaurus » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:27 pm

Toys R Us was a huge part of my childhood and even a small part of my young adulthood. I have fond memories as a child when parents would take me there to buy Transformers, He-Man, GI Joe's, RC cars, etc. My brother was big on board games, puzzles, etc and Toys R Us had the best. As a young adult, I bought all of my Trendmasters Godzilla toys from Toys R Us.

But about a year ago, I decided to visit Toys R Us again after more than a decade, this time with my wife. To my shock and disdain, Toys R Us had become just another Disney store since the majority of the toys that I saw was Disney related: Star Wars, Marvel, Frozen, etc.

Gone were the days of the rc cars, board games, model kits, etc. If this is what Toys R Us has been reduced to, then good riddance.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby canofhumdingers » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:53 pm

Stopped by my local store again today. STILL only *up to* 30% off. Anything worthwhile was still at 10% off. Shelves were full but did not appear to have received any new shipments since last week. Lame...
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby Moonlight SY-3 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:34 pm

As I mentioned earlier, our local TRU here in Sano closed on April 1st, but it seems TRU Japan is not going away, so they just moved stock to other stores in Oyama and Ota...so, no big discounts on anything before they closed. Oh well.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby O.Supreme » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:13 pm

It seems, while there are no new shipments, the TRU's are redistributing product to stores that sell better. There are roughly 4 stores within a 20 mile radius of my home. I was a bit taken back when I went to the store nearest a couple days ago me and they appeared to have new product. The store clerk told me they were getting shipments of product fro other stores closing down, and that "they would be the last to close" (now I assume that meant for our local area, not for the whole country...) . Still since most things I'm interested in were still only at 10% off, that's still higher than walmart or target, so I'm still waiting patiently for the sale amounts to increase enough to make it worth my while.
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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby mrbluehair » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:24 pm

I grew up in a time when TRU was everything....My parents would take me there around October to gauge what I wanted for Christmas, and then, shortly after the TRU catalog would arrive in the mail. I would pour over the pages and mark what I wanted. It was a ritual and only compounded in 1977 at the age of 5 when I went into the store and not only was there an aisle dedicated to the all new Star Wars movie but I nearly fell down when on one side of the aisle was box after box of the giant Shogun Warriors. The large Godzilla, Gaiking, Radeen, Daimos, Mazinger, all saying "Take Me Home!" Then the small die cast/pre-transformers versions...OH man, I may have sat there drooling.....

Funny part was our property had two sheds and I rarely went into one of them, but for some reason I needed a tool and opened the door to find....Godzilla, Gaiking and Radeen...OOPS. I actually didn't look further because I already had ruined my surprise. Thankfully my parents didn't have them come from Santa or the jig would have been up at 5....For a kid it was like going to heaven, even if you didn't get something.

I actually bought a Trendmasters reissue of the 5 lion Voltron set I had as a kid and gave it to my boys for Christmas last year after storing it for 23 years. They play with my Shoguns though well worn, it revives my memories and I guess that's OK.

Went to a TRU just 3 days after the clearance sale started...Looked like a warzone, stuff out everywhere, shelves getting bare, Legos almost gone, stuff on the floors because as an employee, who cares. A sad end to an institution that was part of so many lives. Yeah, online is cool because you don't have to leave, you can get stuff the stores don't have, but I still like the ability to go and see it, hold it before I buy.

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Re: Toys R Us closes all US stores

Postby O.Supreme » Fri Apr 13, 2018 11:06 am

^ Dang 3 Shoguns! That must have been amazing. All I ever wanted was the Godzilla & Rodan, but never did. I actually got Reideen and Gaiking from a co-worker about 15 years ago, they were pretty beat up though, I sold them on eBay, but yeah, as a kid, those were amazing to look at even if I never actually had one.
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