18.02.14 Toys R Us

March 15, 2018

The End of An Era


Toys ‘R’ Us Is Closing

‘We’re putting a for sale sign on everything.’

David Brandon, CEO, quoted by Wall Street Journal, Mar 14, 2018

What It Means:

  • 33,000 U.S. workers to lose jobs.
  • Potentially 700 stores closing in America; including Babies ‘R’ Us.
  • CNBC reports 200 U.S. stores may be spared in a deal that would also sell off its Canadian locations.
  • During the holidays, Toys R Us employs over 100,000 workers.

Read CNBC’s report

‘The last six months have been pure hell.”

  • CEO as quoted by WSJ in a conf. call to employees Wednesday.
  • Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy protection in Sept. 2017. The goal was to emerge with fewer stores & less debt so it could better fight rivals.
  • Instead, THIS is how the CEO describes the company’s fight for survival.

Why This Matters

U.S. Toy Industry = $27B

  • Toys ‘R’ Us = 2nd largest U.S. toy retailer, represents 15% of sales.
  • But, you guessed it, Amazon is #1 as more shop online.
  • Lesson in debt: Toys ‘R’ Us had billions in debt – couldn’t invest in changes to help it modernize.
  • Major fallout for Mattel, Hasbro & smaller toy makers.

The American Dream:

  • Toys ‘R’ Us founder Charles Lazarus dreamed of having a store of his own when he went to visit his dad’s bike shop.
  • 1948: When Lazarus returned from fighting in WWII, he opened a children’s furniture store in D.C., just as the Baby Boom began.
  • 1950s: Expanded to toys, built store to look like the cutting-edge “self-service” supermarkets.

Geoffrey The Giraffe first appeared in 1965 – See more history here:

by Jenna Lee,