Looks like that just might be it for the world’s biggest toy retailer folks. Toys R Us has announced that all US stores will be sold off or shuttered. Needless to say, that’s not a great thing for the industry.
The end of an era
This has been a long time coming, since the chain’s profits have apparently been slipping for a few years. Nonetheless, it’s a shock to actually ready that Toys R Us is effectively going out of business. That’s basically what’s happening here, though the actuality of it is a little more complex.
Toys R Us released an official statement today to its staffers, describing what will be happening. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will be selling or closing all US stores.
Apparently, this also isn’t just limited to the US and UK (where the company declared what amounts to bankruptcy). TRU will be “likely” to sell off all assets in France, Spain, Poland, and Australia. On top of that, you can look for the company to actually sell in the Canada, Central Europe, and Asia markets. Does that mean that a buyer might keep the name, and thus the brand, going? Hard to say. I’m no expert, but I suppose it’s possible.
For that matter, CEO Dave Brandon says that a sale is also possible in any market. All that needs be done is for a potential purchaser to make a bid that’s “one dollar more” that a liquidation company.
It sort of looks like a save might be a possibility, especially in Canada and possibly the US. The firm MGA is looking into picking up operations right now, and just might be planning a last second rescue for the TRU name. Personally, I hope so, since the complete loss of the retailer would be a blow to the toy industry in general.
Sure stores like Target and Walmart carry action figures and such, but they don’t have half the stock of a store like Toys R Us. Honestly they even lack some big name goods. If I had to rely on my local Target for Marvel Legends, well I wouldn’t have to many Marvel Legends.
If we lose TRU, then a good chunk of toy sales immediately move to the internet too. That’s something that’d be fine for bigger names, but the littler guys could face a toy-pocalypse.
Actually that might not be a good thing for anything that isn’t “collector”-aimed or carried by the big-boxers.
Source: The Toy Book