Toys 'R' Us to shut or sell its United States and United Kingdom stores

Smaller toy companies will likely feel the effects greater than the larger ones. This figure eclipsed sales numbers from Walmart and Toys R Us.

But Brandon told employees its sales performance during the holiday season was "devastating", as nervous customers and vendors shied away.

On Wednesday, the US's best-known toy store informed employees that it would be closing or selling its more than 700 stores in the US.

The demise of Toys R Us will have a ripple effect on everything from toy makers to consumers to landlords.

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Toys "R" Us says if you have gift cards, they must be used within the next 30 days or they could lose their value.

They also got about 10% of their revenue from Toys "R" Us.

The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, a trade group that represents almost 2,000 independent toy stores, manufacturers and industry sales reps, said in a statement Thursday that the closing of Toys "R" Us is "another example of the ongoing change and evolution" in the toy industry.

Given the chain's issues, the closings aren't a shock to landlords, and they've already been trying to line up possible tenants to replace Toys R Us over the past few months, said Katy Welsh, a senior vice president at the southern Florida division of the commercial real estate brokerage firm Colliers International. The company said it has more than 100,000 creditors, the largest of which are Bank of NY (owed $208 million), Mattel ($136 million) and Hasbro ($59 million). Toys R Us was bought by the private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital together with the Vornado Realty Trust for $6 billion in a leveraged buyout back in 2005. "Even during recent store closeouts, Toys R Us failed to create any sense of excitement". J.C. Penney opened toy sections last fall in all 875 stores.

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So it's clear that big retailers that sell lots of different things are simply hoping toys are another draw to bring consumers in to the stores, as opposed to being the main focus.

But it could stand to benefit from Toys R Us' decline. The company said it also couldn't compete with its rivals' online pricing and shipping offers.

Amazon is winning over people ditching stores to shop online for toys - in December 2016, 14.7% of parents with children under 9 said they went online to purchase toys, versus 7.3% in 2011, a report by Coresight Research found.

The retail landscape was shifting underneath Toys R Us' feet, and the combination of increased competition and lack of maneuverability helped lead to its current situation.

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At its heyday, Toys R Us had a towering flagship store in New York's Times Square (now closed and home to Old Navy) and a ubiquitous icon, Geoffrey the Giraffe.

  • Kelly Blake