We knew this day would come.
Since the announcement in March that the toy store chain Toys ‘R’ Us would liquidate its U.S. assets after failing to find a buyer or restructure its debt, fans have been dreading the closure of the childhood favorite. We now know that day will be Friday—at the latest: some shops will close as early as Tuesday. The retailer’s web operations have been shut down for nearly three months.
The 70-year-old retailer’s decline is seen as a casualty of the Amazon era. Toys ‘R’ Us entered bankruptcy in September and initially got a $3.1 billion loan to help turn the business around. But that influx of capital proved insufficient to overcome an increasingly competitive retail market.
Although the bankruptcy that led to the shut down of all U.S. Toys ‘R’ Us stores only applied to the American business, it’s had spillover effects abroad. The U.K. arm of Toys ‘R’ Us put itself in the hands of a court administrator and the Australian arm recently announced it would shut all Australian stores as well.
But the story isn’t so bleak everywhere. In April, Toys ‘R’ Us received bids in excess of $1 billion for its Asia unit. Toy sales are expected to grow more than five times faster in Asia than in North America over the next three years.