Growing up in the late ’90s/early 2000s, Toys R Us was pretty much heaven for a kid. With mountains of stuffed animals in Animal Alley, every kind of toy car you could imagine, and a huge selection of dolls, the store was packed with toys for days. Ultimately, it was a kid’s paradise.
However, Toys R Us — and sister store Babies R Us — will soon be closing their doors. According to an article on WTNH entitled Toys R Us Will Close or Sell All Stores, the 70 year store filed for bankruptcy. As a result, they will either sell or close all 735 stores. Furthermore, about 31,000 jobs will be lost.
The article goes onto say that the company hasn’t made a full year profit since 2012, and lost $2.5 billion since then. There were a couple of causes for Toys “R” Us to lose its place as top toy seller. One of them, according to the article was the fact that many major companies such as Walmart and Target having a vast toy selection at cheaper prices. Needless to say, the store had a hard time competing with it. The final nail in their coffin though was Amazon. With the ability to get toys cheaper, and from your own home, it soon put Toys “R” Us in the dust.
Currently, there isn’t a final date when the store is going to close. With that being said, if you have a Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us gift card, you better use it soon.
According to a USA Today article entitled Toys R Us Gift Cards Are Good For Next 30 Days, the chain plans to honor gift cards for the next 30 days. Therefore, if you have one lying around, go as soon as possible. In Connecticut, there are seven locations: Danbury, Manchester, Milford, Norwalk, Waterbury, Waterford and West Hartford.
However, if you’re unable to redeem it or can’t find anything, you might be able to get some cash for it. According to the article, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) sent a letter on Wednesday to the acting chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission. The letter, the article says, asked her to act to “ensure that consumers have time to use their existing gift cards.” This is awesome, because not many stores typically do that when they go bankrupt.
I’m not going to lie, but this hits close to home for me. Toys “R” Us was a huge part of my childhood. I remember going there as a kid to pick out a Barbie doll whenever I got a good report card. And, there was something magical about going there. As I said earlier, if there was a toy that you wanted, chances are they had it.
But, what I’ll really miss most is their location is New York City. That store was incredible. What was really cool about it was that it wasn’t just a toy store, but an indoor playground as well. The store had a Ferris wheel, as well as other rides. Even though the store closed a few years ago, it was a crucial part of the NYC experience.
With that being said, I don’t want to grow up. I want to be a Toys “R” Us kid. So, goodbye Geoffrey the giraffe. Goodbye Toys “R” Us. You will be missed.