This story has been updated.
Mega toy retailer Toys “R” Us, Inc. will officially close its remaining United States stores this week. According to the company’s social media pages, all U.S. Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores will shut their doors by Friday, June 29.
» RELATED: Toys R Us will close its doors for good on Friday
The New Jersey-based company, which declared bankruptcy in September as competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. hurt sales, originally said it planned to shut down the majority of its locations in mid-April amid underperformance.
When the company announced plans to go out of business in March, the chain had about 735 stores left.
According to the original motion filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which was linked on the Toys “R” Us website, up to 182 of their brick-and-mortar store locations — which together constitute about 6.9 million square feet of retail space — would close, leaving hope for the hundreds of others.
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About 44 stores still hoped were going to survive, but they’re now expected to close over the next few weeks, ABC in Australia reported.
Many locations are offering major discounts (60-90 percent) before shutting down for good.
The company is in the process of trying to find new tenants for its stores.
There are 24 Toys “R” Us, Inc. stores in Georgia, including Babies “R” Us locations. Closings will affect shops in the following cities:
- East Newnan
- Warner Robins
“The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus,” CEO Dave Brandon wrote in a message to customers in January. “The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company.”
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Toys R Us has 1,600 stores around the world. Melanie Teed-Murch, president of Toys R Us Canada, said all 83 Canadian locations will continue operating as usual.
Since the closings began, some longtime employees protested the retailer, saying they were not paid severance after losing their jobs, CNN reported.
According to CNN, 2016-2017 marked the first time since the Great Recession that there was an absolute decrease in the number of U.S. stores. While there was an increase in store openings, store closings more than tripled from the previous year to nearly 7,000, setting a record.
In 2017, five other big retailers, including RadioShack, Payless ShoeSource, True Religion Apparel and BCBG Max Azria, also filed for bankruptcy.
And in early January, department stores Macy’s, Sears and Kmart announced plans to close additional locations.
This story has been updated to clarify Toys “R” Us Inc. store closings in Georgia include some Babies “R” Us locations as well.