Toys “R” Us Is Closing U.S. Stores — Can Canadian Stores Survive?
All of your favourite childhood stores have been slowly closing. Toys “R” Us announced on Wednesday that is will close 180 stores in the United States. According to the Toronto Star, while the president for Canadian Operations reassured customers that its business as usual in Canada, many insiders believe that Toys “R” Us won’t last.
Toys “R” Us’ American division is $5 billion (U.S.) in debt and obtained creditor protection in September in an effort to restructure the company. The process didn’t work as planned, and the company will begin closing stores in February with most stores closed by mid-April.
Now as far as Canadian Toys “R” Us go, all 83 stores in Canada will remain open for business, honouring all their policies, warranties, gift cards and loyalty programs. While Toys “R” Us in Canada has actually had a profitable year, industry experts point out that this may not last. Companies like Walmart, Amazon and formerly Target were eating into Toys “R” Us market share and things don’t look to change anytime soon as Toys “R” Us hasn’t yet quite figured out an effective online e-commerce platform that can compete.
Additionally, consumers tastes have changed. When it comes to shopping for toys customers are opting to buy online for specific items, and then gravitate to smaller toy stores for browsing purposes. Boutique stores like Mastermind Toys are eating up Toys “R” Us sales.
While Canadian stores will remain open it will be increasingly difficult for Toys “R” Us to maintain it’s success in Canada.
Source: The Toronto Star