From bikes to trains to video games, it’s the biggest toy store there is—gee whiz! I don’t wanna grow up, cause baby, if I did, I couldn’t be a Toys R Us kid” – Toys R Us 1980s Commercial Jingle
It pains us to say that we’ve grown up. We can no longer be a Toys R Us kid. After 70 years of business, Toys R Us announced that it would close or sell all U.S. stores. As the last store closed its doors on Friday, June 29, 2018, it is rumored that the world stood still, and a distinct chorus of wailing adults and a symphony of heartbroken Tweets could be heard in the distance.
In honor of the deceased, let us have a brief moment of silence, please.
We shall remember Toys “R” Us as a place where parents could drive their kids in order to get them to stop crying, and in its golden years, Goldman Sachs called it “one of the outstanding companies in all of retailing.”
Anger is a normal stage of grief, but if you’re looking for someone to blame, don’t knock on Jeff Bezos’ door. CNN reports that Toys “R” Us had debt problems before Amazon was ever a threat and had been paying $400 million in interest on a mountainous $5 billion debt. Growing competition from retailers like Walmart also threw Toys “R” Us onto the island of misfit toys.
If you were thinking of holding a memorial at an old Toys “R” Us location, you’d better schedule it quickly because these empty properties are garnering the attention of major retailers, according to Ana Lai, a real estate analyst with Standard and Poor’s. Party City, Dollar General, and TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, and Marshalls, are just a few names that are looking for good real estate.