Toys 'R' Us liquidation sales kick off with last minute bargains

Lydia Fleming
March 26, 2018

Liquidation sales are underway now after the company announced it would be closing all of its 735 USA stores and filing for bankruptcy because of the rapid rate it was losing money.

"I sold my first product to Toys R Us in 1979", Larian said. "It's not good because this is I think the closest store for us".

Little ones rushed into Toys R Us with their parents this week, not fully understanding that their favorite store will soon be closed.

"It's contagious, it's a great environment, it's fun to come to work", says Sherry Stone, manager at the Cotswold Village location of Toys & Co.

Its Canadian operations are autonomous from its USA dealings, but Toys "R" Us CEO David Brandon has said the company will try to bundle its Canadian business with about 200 USA stores as it looks to find a buyer.

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The goal is to raise US$1 billion, which will be used in a bid to acquire all or some Toys "R" Us assets through the bankruptcy process, according to a statement issued on billionaire Isaac Larian's behalf.

She says bases are covered for Toys & Co.in that regard, as she and the rest of the company prides itself on community relations.

"There is a lot of value in the Toys "R" Us name, a lot of value in all the assets that they have", Larian said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. It said it raked in US$13.4 million in sales to Toys "R" Us's USA business in its first quarter and that it had US$17.2 million in trade accounts receivable from the toy giant's USA operations. Yesterday, Lazarus passed away at the age of 94 after the chain announced it was going out of business in the U.S.

The fight to save Toys "R" Us stems in part from the role it played in Larian's life.

It said the limited information around the future of Toys "R" Us means its losses might differ from those it is predicting, so it will continue to monitor Toys "R" Us's dealings and revise its totals if needed.

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The chain has its roots in Children's Bargain Town, the baby furniture store that Lazarus opened in his hometown of Washington, D.C., after returning from the Second World War.

The chain's liquidation will have a "devastating effect" on the toy industry, said Larian, who estimates that 130,000 jobs in the US could be lost when you include layoffs at suppliers and logistic operations. It operates more than 700 stores outside the United States.

Michael Goldstein, the CEO who followed Lazarus, spoke to CNN.

"An important distinction between Toys and other recent bankruptcies is that many of Toys' leases [today] are well below market-a silver lining for landlords", analysts from Green Street Advisors wrote.

Nowadays, the culture surrounding in-person toy shopping is changing and gearing more towards online shopping.

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