(WWJ) – The kids may not wanna grow up, but they’ll still have to do it — and without Toys ‘R’ Us.
The retailer is expected to announce this week that it’s liquidating its entire U.S. operation, going out of business, and closing all of its 620 remaining stores.
In January, Toys ‘R’ Us announced that it would close 20 percent of its U.S. stores, or 180 locations (including multiple stores in Michigan), within months. Squeezed by giants Amazon.com and Walmart, and hobbled by $5 billion in debt, the retailer that once dominated toy sales in the U.S. filed for bankruptcy protection back in September.
Reports say the thinned-out company has since then has tried to find a buyer, but without any luck. Officials are said to be losing hope that lenders can agree on terms of a debt restructuring, but the company has declined to comment on the speculation.
An updated on the matter was expected Tuesday.
Toys ‘R’ Us reigned supreme in the 1980s and early 1990s, when it was one of the first of the “category killers” — a store totally devoted to one thing: toys. Its scale gave it leverage with toy sellers and it disrupted general merchandise stores and mom-and-pop shops. Now Toys ‘R’ Us and other category killers like the now-defunct Sports Authority, Borders and Circuit City, are being upended by online retailers.
A bit of better news: massive liquidation sales are planned or have already begun at Toys R Us stores across the country. In announcing the earlier closures, CEO David Brandon promised shoppers “deep discounts and deals” during going-out-of businesses sales.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.