It looks like Toys "R" Us will be phasing out of the US market for good. A new report by the Wall Street Journal revealed the company told employees it will be selling or closing all US stores in the coming months.
So far, Toys "R" Us Inc. is keeping this announcement to itself and its employees. No official statements have been published by the company on its social media pages or through other venues.
Sadly, many have seen this downfall coming as Toys "R" Us has struggled in recent years. Back in September, the company filed for bankruptcy after months of speculation. Right now, there are just over 700 stores left in the U.S. which includes Babies "R" Us venues. This closure would make the biggest retail liquidation since The Sport Authority went under in 2016 as that bankruptcy closed over 460 stores and laid off 14,500 workers.
Reports say Chief Executive David Brandon shared news of the company's fate to workers at its New Jersey headquarters already. Liquidation papers will be signed on Wednesday evening ahead of its bankruptcy court hearing this Thursday.
"I have always believed that this brand and this business should exist in the U.S.," Mr. Brandon said on a conference call earlier today. The executive went on to stress that the brand will surely be missed by vendors and devoted customers, saying they "will all live to regret what's happening here."
While industry watchdogs might have seen this closure coming, consumers admit they are still stunned to see these reports go live. Earlier this month, Toys "R" Us went to social media to reassure customers its stores were still open.
"To our loyal customers: We've seen an amazing outpouring of love and support in recent days and we truly appreciate it. Our stores are open for business, ready to bring joy to children wherever we can, and to help new and expecting parents navigate raising a family," the company posted on Twitter.
The encouraging message came on March 9, but Toys "R" Us made fans abroad do a double-take when it announced all of its UK stores will be closing. This week, the BBC reported the retailer's 100 UK stores were not able to secure a buyer and would close within the next six weeks.
Are you sad to see the toy retailer close its doors in the U.S? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!