Although Toys R Us announced this morning that it plans to close or sell its 735 USA stores, Geoffrey the giraffe so far is roaming free in Central Pennsylvania, according to people contacted at the bankrupt chain's local stores.
Toys R Us had vowed to stay open when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last fall, but Brandon told employees its sales performance during the holiday season was "devastating".
The company held out slim hope of selling its Canadian operations, possibly combined with up to 200 of the top-performing USA stores, which the filing did not identify.
The Wayne, New Jersey-based company, which has 30,000 USA employees, declined to comment.
Toys "R" Us employs more than 30,000 people, and according to one estimate, accounted for about 20 percent of all toy sales a year ago.
"The stark reality is that (Toys "R" Us is) projected to run out of cash in the U.S.in May 2018", the company said in a court filing on Thursday. That deal also could include as many as 400 US stores. Toys R Us also will leave a 671,040-square-foot distribution center in Joliet. It still accounted for roughly 15 to 20 percent of US toy sales, an unusually high share for a retailer whose bankruptcy ends in liquidation, said Stephanie Wissink, managing director and consumer products analyst at Jeffries. GlobalData Retail estimates that almost 14 percent of toy sales were made online in 2016, more than double the level five years ago.More news: Fitbit's New $200 Smartwatch Bears Heavy Resemblance To The Apple Watch
And the number of online baby product retailers is expected to grow, IBISWorld reports. Toys R Us blamed its "old technology" for not offering its own subscriptions. The bigger toy makers - Hasbro and Mattel - will likely hurt at first, but then find their footing at Walmart, Target and Amazon, says Richard Gottlieb, a consultant at Global Toy Experts. Weak sales prevented them from taking the company public again.
About Toys "R" Us (Canada) Ltd. He says he can see them looking to expand in the U.S.
According to its September bankruptcy filing, Toys R Us owes MGA Entertainment $21.3 million. So it determined the best way to pay back its creditors is to liquidate the remaining inventory in its remaining USA stores.
Q: When will stores actually begin to close?
And now, it's official: all stores in the USA will be closing for good.