By Kaitlin Armstrong
Toys “R” Us, a store filled with childhood memories for many people, has become an icon for the toy industry.
Toys “R” Us is currently planning to either sell or close their 800 stores nationwide. The process has already begun as the company has liquidated almost 200 of their stores, including Babies “R” Us.
“When I think of Toys “R” Us, I think of the Barbie section that I would always gravitate towards,” said Katie Tiell, senior. “This section was so pink and full of all the latest Barbie’s. I would just always have a hard time deciding which one I wanted to take home.”
The retailer filed for bankruptcy this past September after being $5 billion in debt. According to CNBC, the company has struggled to pay their loans and the lenders have been pushing management to pursue a complete liquidation of the U.S. business.
“It’s crazy to hear that Toys “R” Us is closing all of their stores,” said Megan Selfridge, junior. “I remember going there as a child and being in awe of all the toys that were available. I hate that the stores are closing and I also feel terribly for all of these people that are going to lose their jobs for something that is out of their control.”
The closing of these stores has been very abrupt and could seriously affect real estate. There will be a decent amount of vacant spaces that may be difficult to fill. According to real estate analysts, the likely scenario for many of these spaces will include remodeling for multiple occupants.
The spaces that Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us hold range from 40,000 square feet to over 65,000 square feet. There are a few stores that could take up these spaces, like Best Buy or Dick’s Sporting Goods, but these companies are not expanding as much anymore due to online shopping.
“It would be a big waste to just let Toys “R” Us go to waste like this,” said Tara Lunsford, sophomore. “I remember always walking past the toy cars that you could actually sit in and drive as a kid and how badly I wanted to have one of my own. I wish these stores would stay open so that other kids can experience the joy I felt when walking into the store and seeing all of the toys.”
Toys “R” Us has a bleak future ahead of it if the company hopes to be able to salvage the name. With any luck, a buyer will give Toys “R” Us another chance allowing the younger generation to feel the same excitement and joy like the generations before them.