Childhood favorite Toys R Us left in the dust


Steven Rissotto '20

Toys R Us is closing all of its stores, including Babies R Us.

Steven Rissotto '20, Sports Editor

Some 735 Toys R Us stores around the country are closing down after the company filed for bankruptcy back in September. The retail chain owes more than $5 billion of long-term debt.

In 1957, the very first Toys R Us store opened in Maryland, under the close eye of founder Charles Lazarus. Before the franchise became popular, Americans thought of toys as presents for a birthday or holiday, opposed to shopping for toys at any particular time.

Lazarus changed the way everyone thought about toys by opening hundreds of stores across the United States. In 1994, Lazarus stepped down as the company’s CEO and veered smoothly into retirement. He died on March 22, just a week after the bankruptcy announcement of the popular company he once called his own.

Since the opening of Toys R Us, there has been multiple spin offs, including Babies R Us, which has supplies for infants and toddlers.

The closing of Toys R Us makes many wonder what was the exact reason they were in debt, and why they can’t keep their stores viable. Experts say that the online shopping competitors like Amazon have completely overshadowed retail all over the country since its rise to power in 2015, and this is just the first of many popular retail stores ready to call it quits. Now that everything is connected to technology, it’s just one click away to buy your child the bike of choice.

As the stores were getting ready to flee the scene, billionaire Isaac Larian submitted an offer to buy some Toys R Us stores.

According to CNN, Larian entered $675 million of his own money to save the company and turn it into a potential entertainment hotspot, like a mini-Disneyland.

The front office of Toys R Us has declined to comment on this development.

Overall, the company looks to shut down operations or sell as soon as possible. Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon said, “I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the company’s U.S. operations.”