Toys R Us stores are shutting down, with 735 TRU and BRU stores expected to close within 60 days. 200 of those top-performing stores could stay open in certain markets, under bankruptcy reorganization.
The circumstances of the decline of Toys R Us are a bit in dispute. "Accounts differ," to quote Tyrion Lannister. The retailer is said to have been driven to money troubles by having to service several significant debts to the tune of several hundred million a year, but at the same time it is said to have entered into those debts as a result of its own business decisions, put into motion years before its stakeholders had driven the retailer to expend much of its revenues on servicing its debts.
Plenty of news outlets, and TRU itself, blame Target, Wal-Mart, as well as The Amazons and The eBays for its demise, pointing to an outdated business model with an expensive footprint in the half-abandoned malls of the America.
In a way, it's wonder that TRU had survived into the late 2010s at all. The 735 TRU and BRU stores alone (how many is that per state?), seem like an oversaturation of the market, at a time when many retailers had taken the need to stop at a standlone big box store just to buy toys out of the daily routine of most parents.
Indeed, given the shellacking that most other "80s" and "90s" retailers have taken, TRU can be seen as a lone survivor of sorts, one which has weathered the damage inflicted by Wal-Mart and Target well over the years, despite all odds.
The last time I was in a TRU was somewhere in the early 2000s, by which time the stores had already started to seem eerily empty, but not quite as abandoned as Sears stores seem today. The selection was still okay, but it didn't differ from the toy aisles of Target -- it was hard to find something remarkably different at TRU than at the other big box stores.
Meanwhile, major toymakers like Lego, Mattel, and Hasbro are expected to take significant hits in distribution as the stores close down. JC Penney and Kohl's, of all places, are expected to beef up their toy aisles to grab a slice of the toy pie. (I didn't even know those two sold toys).