Late last year, Toys”R”Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. This came after years of lagging sales from the one-two punch of growing competition from online sellers, along with kids having more interest in tablets and phones and less interest in traditional action figures and dolls.
Today, the company announced that it would be closing or restructuring more than 180 stores in the US. In a press release, Toys”R”Us Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon claimed the company was doing a top-to-bottom restructuring, announcing things like a price matching plan (to compete with Amazon, no doubt). There were also rumors last year of the company shifting its focus more to in-store experiences, be it party spaces or VR demonstrations.
Brandon said the store closings were necessary to emerge from the bankruptcy proceedings “as a more viable and competitive company.” He also stated that the majority of the closing locations will be shuttered in mid-April 2018, with closing sales beginning in early February.
In recent years, the popular toy chain has been good to Nintendo gamers, usually having a decent stock of uncommon-to-rare amiibo and games. I personally bought a Mega Man amiibo and my copy of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U at my local store because I received a free amiibo. (I got Wii Fit Trainer, not even knowing how rare she would be.) The future may be unclear for the company, but it will always have its fans, and only time will tell if the restructuring can give it the legs it needs to compete with Amazon.
You can check the list of closing Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us locations over at CNBC’s page to see if one is shutting down near you. If a store in your area is closing, keep an eye on Nintendo Wire, as I’m sure there will be some very fast-moving sales on games, amiibo and more.
Source: Toys”R”US PR
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