ST. LOUIS – The toy giant Toys R Us could close all of its stores as early as next week, according to multiple media reports.
The company, which has been in peril for some time, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year. It was a move that was expected to restructure the business and keep much of the stores the same.
In January, Toys R Us announced the closures of more than 180 stores. This was after Chief Executive Dave Brandon promised the bankruptcy court that "Toys R Us is here to stay.” Now, the big box store is reportedly getting ready for liquidation sales—and closing the remainder of its 800 stores. USA Today reports the company could file for chapter 7 bankruptcy soon.
“Any articles in the media regarding additional store closures are based on speculation, and we are not commenting at this time,” a company rep said in a statement sent to 5 On Your Side.
Mary Drone and her grandson Tanner Drone came to the Toys R Us in Sunset Hills after hearing the news about the company’s future.
"It's a shame,” Mary Drone said.
Drone has bought Tanner, 9, gifts from the toy store almost every year of his life. It's the joy on Tanner's face that brings her back every time.
"I love it, love it, love it,” she said. “That's what makes it all worthwhile."
Tanner left with some toys he couldn't wait to get his hands on. They were the “Grossery Gang” figures— toys Tanner thought he wouldn't be able to get with the recent news about the store closings.
"I'm really happy,” he said.
Tanner is happy now but is crushed it may be his last time inside one of his favorite stores.
"It's sad,” he said. “It really is… I really like Toys R Us, it has everything a child would want."
The commercial spaces Toys R Us currently occupies have an uncertain future too. In many of the toy store’s locations, it is the anchor. Their big box store drives business to other stores.
Without the company, not only will those neighboring businesses could be affected. Toy makers that rely on Toys R Us could also take a hit.