Toys ‘R’ Us Shutters Its Two U.S. Stores a Year After Opening

Toys “R” Us has once again disappeared from America’s retail landscape.

The former industry titan recently closed its only two U.S. stores, including a location in New Jersey this week, according to a spokeswoman. The outlets were opened in late 2019 by Tru Kids Inc., an entity that acquired the brand’s intellectual property during the retail giant’s 2018 liquidation. The new entity said it may get back into brick and mortar at some point.

“As a result of Covid, we made the strategic decision to pivot our store strategy to new locations and platforms that have better traffic,” Tru Kids said in a statement. “Consumer demand in the toy category and for Toys “R” Us remains strong, and we will continue to invest in the channels where the customer wants to experience our brand.”

Tru Kids, owned by investment funds including Solus Alternative Asset Management, still is operating a website that markets toys and then directs shoppers to Amazon.com to make purchases. It also continues to license the brand to stores in other markets.

This incarnation of Toys “R” Us joins a long list of retailers damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic after governments forced nonessential chains and malls to close and then put restrictions on operations. The virus is also far from under control, pushing many shoppers to stay away from stores.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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