One of the country’s most well-known store chains is closing its doors.
In the age of Amazon, it’s goodbye Geoffrey the Giraffe as Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us sores prepare to close up shop. The retailer announced it has filed to liquidate and close all of its 735 stores nationwide.
Locally, there is a Toys "R" Us store on Commercial Drive in New Hartford, located right next door to a Babies "R" Us store.
The company's chairman and CEO, Dave Brandon, said in a statement, “I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the Company’s U.S. operations. We are therefore implementing an orderly process to shutter our U.S. operations and will pursue going concern sales or reorganizations of certain of our international businesses, while our other international businesses consider their options.”
"This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years,” Brandon also said in the statement.
Toys "R" Us employs more than 30,000 people, and according to one estimate, accounted for about 20 percent of all toy sales last year.
It’s the latest major casualty in a string of retail store closures across the country, even after a strong holiday shopping season. Toys "R" Us, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year, was already closing 180 stores and laying off workers in 41 states.
Sen. Chuch Schumer is urging the Federal Trade Commission to force Toys "R" Us "to redeem outstanding gift cards for cash.”
Toys R Us representatives are expected to appear in Virginia bankruptcy court Thursday afternoon.
There is no word yet on when the stores will begin closing, but the company says gift cards will be honored for 30 days. Returns will not be accepted once liquidation sales begin.
To read the full press release issued by Toys R Us on Thursday morning, click here.
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