Toys R Us is closing or selling all of its over 800 remaining US stores, according to a report from the Washington Post, signaling an end of an era for the famous toy store. The news was apparently announced to workers today by CEO David Brandon ahead of a bankruptcy court hearing on March 15th.
In a later conference call with staff, Brandon apparently pinned the blame on vendors and customers who failed to support Toys R Us during the holiday season — typically the busiest and most lucrative time of year for the company — ominously intoning that they “will all live to regret what’s happening here.”
It’s not only US stores that are likely to be affected — stores in France, Spain, Poland and Australia will likely be liquidated, while the company is still looking to sell Toys R Us stores in Canada, Central Europe and Asia (assuming it can find a buyer.)
Toys R Us has been circling doom for a while now, with the company filing for bankruptcy last September with more than $5 billion in debt. That was followed by holiday sales this year that Brandon reportedly described as “no short of devastating,” with the company missing its usual $600 million annual earnings by more than half.