SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) – Toys R Us, one of the most recognizable names in American retail, closed its doors for the last time Friday. But this closure can’t be blamed on online retailers.
For generations of Americans, Toy R Us was the place for bikes, planes and video games. But Friday night, it all ended, when the last Toys R Us stores closed for the final time.
The company was founded by Charles Lazarus, in 1948 and grew to become the biggest toy-seller in America, with more 800 store locations.
But in March, Toys R Us announced it would shutter its remaining stores, following years of financial woes, increasing competition and flagging sales.
CBS Business Analyst Jill Schlesinger says this is probably a story about mismanagement over the course of a couple of decades, not just a digital story. It’s not that Amazon ate up business for Toys R Us, the company had too much debt, failed to expand its online footprint fast enough and mismanaged the process.
As shelves began to empty and doors began to close, tributes and memories of Toys R Us were shared online.
Meanwhile, the chain’s liquidation has left some hard feelings with employees. About 31,000 workers were told they would not receive severance pay as part of the bankruptcy agreement.
The Toys R Us name may not be gone for good, though. The company’s name, and trademarks like its mascot “Geoffrey” will be auctioned off next month.