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R.I.P. Toys R Us

Old 03-09-18, 11:44 AM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Rip, tru.
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Old 03-09-18, 12:41 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

To be a little less vague, reports today are that TRU may liquidate all operations as early as next week:

http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/09/inve...tel/index.html
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Old 03-09-18, 01:12 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Toys Were Us?

I worked for them as a seasonal temp during Christmas 1995, one of the worst jobs I ever had. I was stuck in the back where it was freezing, unloading trucks with a bunch of ex-cons, some of which had been in prison together.

What REALLY sucked was there were NO discounts whatsoever. Had a lot less respect for the company after that.
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Old 03-09-18, 01:15 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

I mean, what did you expect for a job at a retail store working in the back/merch? That's pretty much the backroom of every retail store.
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Old 03-09-18, 08:12 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

I had just the opposite experience ... I worked there part-time over two Christmases. The first year I took the job I was really just looking for something to do (wife and I had separated for a period of time) and possibly a track on a new full-time gig down the road.

I worked the floor and I had a blast! I guess a good reason for that was not “needing” the job, so I was able to stay away from things I didn’t want to do. I focused almost solely on customer service on the floor and revamping/managing their messed up rain check system. I had customers bringing us food (for finding or getting that gift they couldn’t find anywhere), compliments going to corporate, training people they didn’t have time to train, etc. They loved me because they basically got a floor manager for minimum wage. Oh, and the hot moms ... oh, the hot moms.

I went back the next year just because I had so much fun. They had cut staffing hours that next year and had gotten a new store manager, so it wasn’t quite the same. I still had fun though because I could “dictate” my terms (i.e., not running a register).

Our back room wasn’t quite that bad, but it wasn’t too far off. They were pretty fun guys though. If you were cool with them, they were cool with you.

As for the state of things, TRU suffers from one of the things that did in Blockbuster and Hollywood ... their stores were too big. That was great when retail space was much, much cheaper per square foot. Eventually increasing rents, utilities, and even just plain maintenance costs pushed overhead costs out of balance with what they could sustain. They needed to reduce SKUs and increase special ordering, reduce their footprint (probably by half in most stores), and give themselves a facelift. Instead they doubled down on Babies R’ Us, increasing all the overhead problems. They also put too much emphasis on low-margin categories such as video games (they even looked at buying Game Crazy from Hollywood at one point).
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Old 03-10-18, 10:49 AM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Yep, I was hoping I'd be on the sales floor, but they stuck me in the back (called it "Pickup".) It was just a 2nd job, but not a great experience all around. I'd hoped that I'd at least be able to get a Sega Saturn at a discount, but of course that didn't happen- got one the next year at Incredible Universe (remember that?)
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Old 03-10-18, 02:29 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
As for the state of things, TRU suffers from one of the things that did in Blockbuster and Hollywood ... their stores were too big. That was great when retail space was much, much cheaper per square foot. Eventually increasing rents, utilities, and even just plain maintenance costs pushed overhead costs out of balance with what they could sustain. They needed to reduce SKUs and increase special ordering, reduce their footprint (probably by half in most stores), and give themselves a facelift. Instead they doubled down on Babies R’ Us, increasing all the overhead problems. They also put too much emphasis on low-margin categories such as video games (they even looked at buying Game Crazy from Hollywood at one point).
yeah, that's the thing I think plagues places like Barnes & Noble and the late Borders. They are huge stores with a diverse product selection, but probably 90% of their income comes from 10% of their floorspace. If your rent, maintenance, and utilities are cheap, it isn't an issue. And bookstores, video stores, and toy stores need a deep selection to attract customers, but that deep selection doesn't pay for its space.
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Old 03-10-18, 03:28 PM
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I won't deny that the stores are too big, that target and Walmart and Amazon were eating into their space, etc., but my understanding is that the debt brought on them when they were bought by Bain is what did them in.
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Old 03-10-18, 05:14 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Yeah, TRU had problems foisted on it by Bain, but we're in a new reality where the retail landscape is changing for large specialty stores. Twenty or thirty years ago, you could have giant stores like B&N, Borders, and Virgin Megastores, but they've been eaten alive by physical online sales and digital distribution.

TRU doesn't face the same Kindle/iTunes digital competition media does, but they have to deal with distributors who won't put in-demand products in their hands. Good luck walking into a TRU and leaving with a NES Classic or short-packed Star Wars action figure.
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Old 03-10-18, 08:36 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I won't deny that the stores are too big, that target and Walmart and Amazon were eating into their space, etc., but my understanding is that the debt brought on them when they were bought by Bain is what did them in.
Ultimately, yes. The other decisions put them in that position, but Bain, Vornado, and KKR took them for a ride.

http://inthesetimes.com/article/2060...lled-toys-r-us

How it got this bad

Vornado Realty Trust, KKR and Bain Capital financed 80 percent of the purchase of Toys “R” Us, so while the company sold for $6.6 billion, the trio only contributed $1.3 billion. As part of the purchase agreement, the companies also agreed to take responsibility for all of Toys “R” Us’s long-term debt obligations, which at the time totaled $2.3 billion. Once Toys R Us was taken over, however, the debt Vornado Realty, KKR and Bain used to acquire it was pushed back onto the company, skyrocketing its debt obligations to $7.6 billion.

Toys “R” Us has been paying $400 million a year to service these debts.
This money could have been used to lower prices or improve the company’s website—not to mention raising pay to its employees—but instead went to paying off creditors. Last year, the company reported a loss of $29 million. If it weren’t for these debt payments, Toys “R” Us would have run a substantial profit.

Vornado Realty, KKR and Bain tried to cash in by taking Toys “R” Us public from 2010 to 2013 but ultimately failed. Since then, Vornado has incrementally “written down” their investment in the toy company to zero, meaning they see their shares as essentially valueless.

The pattern followed by Toys “R” Us is typical in private equity takeovers. Management is bought off: John Eyler, CEO of Toys “R” Us, was compensated $65.3 million upon the buyout’s completion. Employees have no say in the matter. Then come the layoffs, debt transfers and shortsighted asset sales. Funds are earmarked to pay down debts—Toys “R” Us was spending more annually on debt payments than it was on its website and stores—even as cash reserves are depleted. Before the buyout, Toys R Us had $2.2 billion in reserves. As of 2017, that number is down to $301 million.

Just two months ago, Toys “R” Us was still trying to renegotiate its debt agreements with its creditors. But on September 6, CNBC reported that Toys “R” Us was flirting with bankruptcy—possibly just as a negotiation tactic—and investors panicked. Vendors started asking for cash payments for their services and, in some cases, that all accounts be paid off. Bond prices plummeted to 18 percent of their face value and upfront costs for debt insurance went up 2,500 percent.
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Old 03-11-18, 04:12 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Is this official, or just a rumor?
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Old 03-11-18, 06:45 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

This is a post from Toys R Us Facebook page.
To our loyal customers, Toys“R”Us kids, parents, parents-to-be, and everyone in between: We’ve seen an amazing outpouring of love and support in recent days and want you to know that we truly appreciate it. Our stores are open for business, and ready to bring joy to children wherever we can, and to help new and expecting parents navigate the crazy world of raising a family.
I guess still trying to say something positive before announcing its going under.
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Old 03-11-18, 09:25 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

That statement is not a denial.

It's just vague gibberish before they make the official announcement.
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Old 03-12-18, 06:34 AM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
That statement is not a denial.

It's just vague gibberish before they make the official announcement.
I read it more as "please buy our stuff before we have to sell it to a liquidater at 10 cents on the dollar"
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Old 03-12-18, 12:43 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Originally Posted by DVD Josh View Post
I read it more as "please buy our stuff before we have to sell it to a liquidater at 10 cents on the dollar"
Except that liquidators tend to sell everything 250 cents to the dollar but with a YUUUGGGEEE 50 percent off final prices!*

*all sales final. Did it break when you got home? Fuck off, call the manufacturer.
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Old 03-12-18, 12:58 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

What I don't understand is that Sears Holding Corporation(Sears and Kmart) have been losing money for more than a decade and have probably just as much debt as Toys R' Us and they are still open.
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Old 03-12-18, 01:01 PM
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Sears has other assets they could (and have) sold off to help keep them afloat. But I'd imagine their demise isn't too far away either,.
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Old 03-12-18, 01:07 PM
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I know the only thing keeping Sears afloat is closing stores, and they own a lot of their buildings, but I'm just surprised they haven't gone under yet.
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Old 03-13-18, 08:40 AM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

How the mighty have fallen. This is sad news, but not really unexpected. I haven't gone to a TRU in about a year, and a lot of them have closed in my area over the years anyway. Whereas TRU was once the "go to" place for collectible toys ('80's & much of the '90's), in the past 15-or so years, the prices have gone up & the selection has gone way down.

Also, they just couldn't compete with the growing popularity of online shopping/ Amazon, etc.

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
As for the state of things, TRU suffers from one of the things that did in Blockbuster and Hollywood ... their stores were too big. That was great when retail space was much, much cheaper per square foot. Eventually increasing rents, utilities, and even just plain maintenance costs pushed overhead costs out of balance with what they could sustain. They needed to reduce SKUs and increase special ordering, reduce their footprint (probably by half in most stores), and give themselves a facelift. Instead they doubled down on Babies R’ Us, increasing all the overhead problems. They also put too much emphasis on low-margin categories such as video games (they even looked at buying Game Crazy from Hollywood at one point).
Good analysis of why the store failed & what could have been done to prevent this. Like Blockbuster before them, TRU was a once viable/successful business that failed to keep up with the changing times. Too bad.

Last edited by TheDude; 03-13-18 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 03-14-18, 07:51 AM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

I remember - just a few years ago getting a whole lot of Disney blu rays from ToysRUS with Disney Coupons and ToysRUS pre-orders / discount card !

Those were the days
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Old 03-14-18, 08:16 AM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Originally Posted by soundman2 View Post
I remember - just a few years ago getting a whole lot of Disney blu rays from ToysRUS with Disney Coupons and ToysRUS pre-orders / discount card !

Those were the days
Those were some of the last things I bought at our local store before they closed a few years ago. I remember when the Toy Story movies were coming out on Blu Ray. They had those $10 coupons you could print out and Toys R Us also had like a $5 off preorder discount or something as well. So you could pick those up for less than $10 each on release day. It was kinda nuts back then with some of the Disney movie discounts. Those days are long gone!
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Old 03-14-18, 02:19 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Originally Posted by soundman2 View Post
I remember - just a few years ago getting a whole lot of Disney blu rays from ToysRUS with Disney Coupons and ToysRUS pre-orders / discount card !

Those were the days
So it’s your fault!!!!!

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Old 03-14-18, 04:20 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Toys ‘R’ Us Tells Workers It Will Likely Close All U.S. Stores - Failure of big-box chain would put up to 33,000 Americans out of work



https://www.wsj.com/articles/toys-r-...res-1521060803
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Old 03-14-18, 07:28 PM
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Sign in to read the article, but thank you matty!

My question at this point would be: what are the 33,000 jobs? With 700 stores, that’s about 48 jobs per store. Now I realize there are a large number of corporate jobs in there, but I’m wondering how many of the 33,000 are “real” full time jobs and how many are part-time minimum wage jobs.
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Old 03-14-18, 07:34 PM
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re: R.I.P. Toys R Us

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Sign in to read the article, but thank you matty!

My question at this point would be: what are the 33,000 jobs? With 700 stores, that’s about 48 jobs per store. Now I realize there are a large number of corporate jobs in there, but I’m wondering how many of the 33,000 are “real” full time jobs and how many are part-time minimum wage jobs.
Online division, warehouses.
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