Toys ‘R’ Us has long been a wondrous land for many children growing up, but it may be having a hard time attracting the youngest generation. Despite years of success, the company is on the brink of a large number of store closures, according to reports.
Founded near New York City in the city of Wayne, New Jersey, in 1984, Toys ‘R’ Us operates stores in 37 countries and jurisdictions, according to the company website. It’s also played a major role in funding Toys for Tots, Save the Children, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
But now, according to Bloomberg, the company that filed for bankruptcy in September is weighing some tough choices. At least 100 stores are on the chopping block for possible closures, Bloomberg sources say, and that number could grow to 200.
In what has proven to be a very tough year for brick-and-mortar retailers in the midst of a shopping culture that has shifted to online businesses and specialty stores, Toys ‘R’ Us’ Christmas-shopping season sales are already down 15% from last year, according to reports. The company itself is reticent to confirm any figure for the number of stores that could close.
Spokeswoman Amy von Walter, “Final decisions about our real estate portfolio will be done only after careful consideration about the best interests of our business. Any speculation on that figure is premature and likely to be inaccurate.”
It’s bad news for top toymakers Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc. According to CNN Money, both companies have seen their sales plummet. Mattel blames Toys ‘R’ Us’ bankruptcy announcement in September, but their sales have been dropping for a while, especially the sales of their American Girl doll line.
Forbes blames Toys ‘R’ Us’ weak sales on the retailer’s poor performance online. Amazon.com, on the other hand, saw a 25% increase in toy sales in 2016 compared to the year before. For those who would hate to see their local Toys 'R' Us shut its doors, though, there could be time to give them more business.
What do you think of this? In related news, a mom is claiming that one of the most popular toys this Christmas season gave her daughter chemical burns.