Though some might not exactly be sad to see it go, much less surprised, it’s still a sad day when an icon goes under. After 70 years of being the toy store, especially with its grammatically questionable name, Toys’R’Us is folding. It has just told employees that it will either liquidate or sell its US stores. Either way, those stores will close down and the worst part is, of course, the more than 33,000 jobs that will be lost because of it.
It no longer comes as a surprise to those who have been closely following the drama surrounding what was once the country’s largest and most powerful toy retail chain. It already filed for bankruptcy protection last September and, despite CEO Dave Brandon’s promises, it was far too little too late to patch up a sinking ship with duct tape.
Some might say that Toys’R’Us had it coming and it was a demise already years in the making. It almost seems ironic, or poetic justice for some, that the chain that pushed other chains out of business would itself end up bankrupt. Like many titans, Toys’R’Us was seen to have reveled in its success far too long and wasn’t prepared when change came.
That change came in the form of Amazon, whose cheap prices and online convenience undercut Toys’R’Us value proposition. Retailers like Walmart and Target also started offering toys on the cheap to lure buyers into their stores to buy other, non-toy items as well. And all throughout, the toy store chain amassed debts that it now no longer has any ability to pay.
To its credit, Toys’R’Us did try to turn the ship around, though it did sometimes make the wrong turns as well. But it was far too late to make a difference and unless someone is willing to take on the risk and burden of continuing its name, Toys’R’Us is practically no more.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal