We visited a Toys R Us store that’s about to shut down — and it was a grim glimpse of the chain’s future

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I visited a Toys R Us store in Yonkers, New York. Business Insider/Jessica Tyler
  • Toys R Us, which filed its liquidation papers last week, will close or sell all 735 of its US stores.
  • In late January, the company announced plans to close 170 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.
  • We went to a Toys R Us store in Yonkers, New York, that was part of that initial round of store closings. Overall, the store was a sad vision of what’s to come as Toys R Us closes locations.

Toys R Us will close or sell all its US stores after it filed a motion last week to liquidate its US business. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

In January, the company announced plans to close 170 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores, many of which have already started going-out-of-business clearance sales.

Toys R Us’ liquidation includes a plan to close or sell all 735 of its remaining stores, but sales aren’t set to begin until Thursday in at least some locations.

To see what a Toys R Us store looks like amid the company’s demise, we visited one in Yonkers, New York, that was part of the earlier round of Toys R Us closures. This is what we found.


The Toys R Us I went to in Yonkers, New York, was on the list of store closures announced in January. It will close soon.

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But when I walked in, there were no obvious signs of this. It looked well-stocked, and we didn’t see any clearance tags at first.

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As I continued walking through the store, I realised how wrong my first impression was. The shelves only looked stocked because everything was spread out and pushed to the front. Small sale signs were next to nearly every item.

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It seemed as if the empty shelves were strategically hidden behind the larger displays up front.

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Nearly everything was on sale or marked as clearance, and many of the shelves were empty.

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Several aisles looked like this.

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The farther back in the store I went, the more depressing it looked.

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But quite a few aisles were fully stocked. Many were full of sale and clearance tags, but some weren’t.

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Similar to those in the front of the store, many shelves that appeared well-stocked at first actually had one product pushed to the front so that it looked as if there were more.

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A lot of torn boxes seemed to have been left randomly around the store …

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… and some displays were falling apart.

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A lot of the merchandise wasn’t in great condition. This Minnie Mouse toy looked as if it had been stepped on and then put back on the shelf. Other toys were spilling out of boxes, and many of the stuffed animals were collecting dust.

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The Lego display in the center of the store looked sad …

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… and the electronics section didn’t look much better. The store still had a large selection of video games — none of which were on sale — but many accessories and other electronics were out of stock.

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The pattern of empty shelves and clearance sales continued as I walked back toward the front of the store.

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The displays by the register were sparse …

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… and some were empty.

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This table was past the registers, right before the exit. It had a few marked-down items on it, but there was no label and no one around to ask what it was. Overall, the store was sad, and it seemed representative of what the future of Toys R Us holds as its stores prepare to close.

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