More than Toys ‘R’ Us stores are set to close or be sold off, Reuters is reporting — and 33,000 jobs are in peril as the 60-year-old iconic children’s retailer winds down its operations. It’s been unable to find a buyer after filing for bankruptcy six months ago.
Employees learned of the closures via a conference call with Toys ‘R’ Us CEO David Brandon, The Wall Street Journal reported. The U.S. stores are unlikely to close all at once, however — rather, they will close over time.
All of the company’s retail locations in the U.K. will close as well.
The writing has been on the wall for quite some time. The thunderous march of big-box stores such as Walmart and Target, coupled with the rise of ever-encroaching Amazon, has spelled doom for many retailers. The fate of Toys ‘R’ Us is certainly far from unique.
What is unique about the loss of Toys ‘R’ Us is the intensity of emotion customers are experiencing — and openly expressing online. Curiously (or maybe not), it appears children are largely nonplussed.
It’s adults who are taking to social media to share their reactions about losing a “piece” of their childhood. Nostalgic sentiments and sad goodbyes are flooding feeds.
Upon hearing the disappointing news, Raleigh, North Carolina-based singer Chase Holfelder created something of an in memoriam version of Toys ‘R’ Us classic jingle on Monday. Holfelder is best known for his “Major to Minor” YouTube videos.
The candlelit video features Holfelder at the keyboard, singing an almost comically somber version of the unforgettable “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” tune that defined the brand.
Holfelder is surrounded by classic children’s toys in what appears to be a sound studio.
And “RIP TOYSRUS” is spelled out on wooden toy blocks atop his keyboard.
It's official. @ToysRUs just announced they're closing all 800 of their U.S. stores. If you haven't lit a candle while listening to my minor-key version of their classic jingle… now is the time. #ToysRUs #RIPToysRUs #ToysRUsKid #ToysRUsKids ? pic.twitter.com/rsvXznPVBB
— Chase Holfelder (@chaseholfelder) March 15, 2018
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Holfelder is not alone in his despair. Countless others — mostly adults — are also grappling with waves of nostalgia as people bid a fond farewell to a brand that somehow defined childhood for generations.
Even when they're all gone, I'll always be a #ToysRUs kid….
— Weretoons (@weretoons) March 12, 2018
— SlamGrene (@SlamGrene) March 14, 2018
— The Intel Crab (@IntelCrab) March 14, 2018
As we bid farewell to #ToysRUs, remember what has gone before: The Sears Wishbook, FAO Schwarz, KB Toys, Woolworth Five and Dime, Lionel Playworld, and the many many mom and pop shops. The stores close, the memories remain. pic.twitter.com/y66uQjkL1w
— Jeffs Comics (@jeffs_comics) March 9, 2018
Amazon didn’t force #ToysRUs to close. It’s their own fault for not driving in customers. Stores look old, their online presence was lame, and no one cared. Y’all don’t need to go around blaming Amazon for their closure. Understaffed, under appreciated stores made them close.
— Colby A Martin (@Goblowsoup) March 14, 2018
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.