SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When the toy stores of "R" Us Inc. in the United States celebrated their last business day on Friday, the bankrupt toy dealer posted a farewell message to customers Geoffrey's Giraffe mascot on its website alongside a picture of his icon thank them and urge them to "play!"
"Thanks to each of you who shared your amazing journey to (and through) parenting with us, and to every grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, and sister who built a sofa-cushion rocket ship did, made a hero adventure, or invented something sticky, "the message said.
"Just promise us this one thing: Never grow up, keep playing!" Added the message that played on the company's famous jingle.
More than 700 Toys "R" Us stores are closed in the United States. The liquidation of the largest US toy retailer is a blow to hundreds of toy manufacturers selling products on the chain, including the Barbie maker Mattel Inc ( MAT.O ), the board game company Hasbro Inc ( HAS .O ) and other major providers such as Lego.
The closure of small toymakers, who relied on the company to showcase new products, is also linked to the closure of the company.
Toys "R" Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, hoping to repatriate $ 5 billion in debt. Much of this came from a 2005 leveraged buyout of private equity firms.
But the company changed course In March, it said it would sell its businesses in Canada, Asia and Europe and close in the United States.
In addition to online platforms such as Amazon.com Inc. ( AMZN.O ), analysts have referred to Walmart Inc. ( WMT.N ), Target Corp. ( TGT ) .N ), JC Penney Co Inc. ( JCP.N ), Kohl's Corp. ( KSS.N ) and Bed Bath & Beyond ( BBBY. O ) as chains, the market shares of Toys & # 39; R & # 39; Us could take over. Drugstores such as CVS Health Corp. ( CVS.N ) and Rite Aid Corp. ( RAD.N ) and discount stores such as Dollar General Corp. ( DG.N ) or TJ Maxx ( TJX.N ) could also have their shelves stocked with more toys, they said.
In a challenging retail landscape, more than 8,000 stores in the US closed in 2017, about twice the average annual store closures over the last decade, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Reporting by Jim Christie, adaptation by Tracy Rucinski and David Gregorio