Toys R Us, a beloved toy-store chain with locations across the country,is planning to close for good. reports that the company filed court documents Thursday that said it would shut down or sell off all of its stores, laying off around 31,000 employees.
According to the , Toys R Us told workers on Wednesday about its plans. At this point, there are more than 700 locations that would close, which includes Babies R Us stores; closing them would be the largest retail closing since Sports Authority in 2016. The company hopes to sell its Canadian division, and a buyer could possibly also pick up the 200 best performing American stores, too, but that's not a given just yet.
The company has been struggling with billions of dollars in debt, and has also faced stiff competition from competitors like Amazon and Walmart. CEO David Brandon said in a call to employees that the most recent holiday shopping season was "no short of devastating" because of low sales, and noted "the last six months have been pure hell."
According to , should all the stores close, customers would have 30 days to redeem their gift cards. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has asked the Federal Trade Commission to make sure that customers have time to use them. reports that liquidation sales would start during the next few months. Many parents are speculating online about the status of their Babies R Us registries, especially the coupons they get as a result of completing those registries, but the company has not clarified what will happen just yet.
Other people are devastated over the fact that they are losing a piece of their childhood.