Heartland Toys R Us stores to close

(KFVS) - It's the beginning of the end for longtime retailer Toys "R" Us.

Toys "R" Us announced on Thursday, March 15 it will start the process of seeking Bankruptcy Court approval and liquidating assets.

According to business, the wind-down of its business and liquidation of inventory will be at all 735 of the U.S. stores, including stores in Puerto Rico. About 30,000 people will lose their jobs when the stores close.

Despite the news for the employers, the news about the closing has patrons thinking back to their childhood, or even when their own children were small.

For example, James and Cherri Addyman felt nostalgic.

"As our kids grew up this is where we came," said James Addyman. He's ashamed to see it closed. Him and his wife made a trip to the Toys R Us in Marion because they heard it was going out of business.

"I think we are very disappointed that it is closing because it was very convenient for us," Cherri Addyman said.

The traditional brick and mortar has been in the toy business for 70-years, and after entering bankruptcy in September, the company will be closing all 735 stores in the U.S.

"You're going to have to go to a Walmart or Kohls or whatever to see what they've got in comparison," James Addyman said. "They don't have anything like this as far as toys. So yeah it's going to be a problem for buying toys for your children."

A lady coming out of UPS, Angel Petree, said she hates to see the stores go, but feels like it can be more convenient to shop online.

"You don't have to leave your home if you don't want to it's all right there on your computer or your phone or your iPad or whatever you use technologically wise," said Petree. "You don't have to go out and mess with the public or anything like that."

Chris Sullivan and his wife visited the store to see if they had any deals, but he, too, sees the benefit in shopping online.

"I mean you have people that are so busy, they travel for work and it's just easy to sit down and take 10 minutes at home and not leave the kids and order online and in a couple of days, it's there," said Sullivan.

Despite the ease to buy online or shop at competitive big box stores, many shoppers are still sad to see the store go.

"I'd like to see them pull a Hail Mary and stay open," said Sullivan. "I mean, I want to be a Toys R Us  kid."

Right now, the stores in the Heartland are still open normal hours, and the store management at Marion says their sales are 300-400% above their sales goals since the announcement Friday.

The company also announced it is pursuing a "going concern reorganization" and a sale process for its Canadian and international operations in Asia and Central Europe, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The company's international operations in Australia, France, Poland, Portugal and Spain are considering their options in light of this announcement, including potential sale processes in their respective markets. These stores are currently open and serving customers.

According to the press release:

"In connection with the sale process, the motion the Company filed with the Bankruptcy Court included bidding procedures for the Canadian operations. The Company also disclosed that it is engaged in discussions with certain interested parties for a transaction that could combine up to 200 of the top performing U.S. stores with its Canadian operations. While discussions continue on this potential transaction, Toys"R"Us is seeking court approval to implement the liquidation of inventory in all the U.S. stores, subject to a right to recall any stores included in the proposed Canadian transaction."

In case you were wondering, if you have a gift card for Toys R Us or Babies R Us, you have 30 days to use it.

Some Heartland locations include:

  • Marion, IL
  • Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Paducah, KY

Corporate office said:

"Timing of store closures is still TBD, but we expect to share details soon. Gift cards along with Rewards dollars and Endless Earnings are being honored for the next 30 days. The online store will remain active for the next few weeks."

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