Toys”R”Us is Shutting Down Stores


Joe Balsama

Emma Chiu, a sophomore, looks at a shutdown notice on the Toys”R”Us website.

Chloe Postlewaite, Local News Staff Writer

The popular retail chain Toys”R”Us is going out of business after going bankrupt, and will shut down hundreds of stores across the world.

Toys”R”Us originally opened in New York in 1948. The company filed for bankruptcy last September and announced the closure of more than 180 locations in January. In February, that number rose to over 380, and in March, Toys”R”Us announced that they would close or sell the remaining stores.

Members of the Woodside community used to frequently visit Toys”R”Us, making it a large part of their lives. “When my kids were a little bit younger, we were there all the time,” recalls Karen Dorsey, a Spanish teacher at Woodside. “I would say once every two weeks, maybe.”

Though Toys”R”Us was popular in the past, high prices caused this status to rapidly decline.

“I was talking with another mom yesterday and she said that she went to Babies”R”Us to look for a car seat,” asserts Dorsey. “Then she looked at Amazon. It was $100 cheaper on Amazon… I definitely think that the rise of Amazon has kind of wiped out a lot of the need for some of these stores.”

The rise in online markets and the growing popularity of electronics may have also contributed to the closure.

“Part of the reason it’s closing is because kids nowadays are more dependent on electronics than actual toys,” suggests Isabel de Oliveira.

With the Toys”R”Us shutdown looming, the Woodside community reflects on memories from the chain.

I definitely think that the rise of Amazon has kind of wiped out a lot of the need for some of these stores.”

— Karen Dorsey

“I used to get to go to Toys”R”Us when I was a kid after painful dental procedures and I got to choose a Star Wars action figure,” remembers Alan Eaton, a Latin teacher at Woodside.

Others feel as though Toys”R”Us made a large impact on their life.

“In fourth grade and fifth grade I was really into Rubix cubes, and that’s where I got my first Rubix cube,” reflects Chris Badger, a Woodside sophomore. “It really contributed to how I think. It’s super important.”

Despite the childhood memories of Toys”R”Us in the Woodside community, many admit that its closing will not currently affect their lives. The opening of new neighborhood toy and baby shops only makes the struggle of switching stores easier. However, a few people note that the chain was important to not only the customers but also those employed there.

“It’s also been a place that over the years has employed a great number of Woodside High School students and graduates, and that’s something too that will disappear,” reasons Eaton.

In addition, even if the closing of Toys”R”Us evokes only feelings of nostalgia, some worry about the lifestyle of children in the future.

“The fact that they’re closing is sad,” concludes Badger. “It doesn’t really affect me now, because I don’t get toys anymore, but I feel bad for the next generation.”