Toys ‘R’ Us stores across the country, including locations in Grand Chute and Green Bay are slated to close or be sold within just two months time. Just today the former toy store powerhouse from the 90’s told Wisconsin’s Workforce Development Board they plan on closing up their northeast Wisconsin locations on May 14th which would impact hundreds of employees. NBC26 breaks down what happened to bring the toy store to this point with the help of an economist from the Fox Valley.
For 70 years Toys ‘R’ Us has been a go to destination for parents who have to do last minute shopping for kids. But soon, as many as 740 stores across the United States will be closing or selling.Since 2012 Toys ‘R’ Us hasn't made a profit and just last year the toy store was reported to be 5 billion dollars in debt. Some economists say the brick and mortar store concept for specialty items, like toys, is fading and that without a strong online sales presence Toys ‘R’ Us was facing an uphill battle.
"The department’s (stores) are having trouble. Yonkers went bankrupt recently, Macy's is struggling. You need to diversify the strategy if you're depending solely on the brick and mortar stores… then you got a problem," says Lawrence University Professor of Economics Marty Finkler.
Across the United States as many as 31,000 jobs are anticipated to be lost on the account of the store closings. If all of the stores close in Wisconsin it would mean the elimination of 300 plus jobs.