Altamonte store among those closing

From Money/CNN

The troubled retailer, which declared bankruptcy in September, is looking to close down as many as 182 outlets across the country, according to a court filing late Tuesday.

The Toys “R” Us store located in Altamonte Springs (350 E Altamonte Dr, Altamonte Springs, FL 32701), the nearest location to Apopka, is among those on the closing list.

Over nearly seven decades in business, Toys “R” Us has built up 1,600 stores around the world. About 880 of them are in the U.S.

The filing Tuesday by the company’s lawyers said the decision to shut so many stores was prompted by increased competition and a shift by customers toward online shopping.

Related: Retail’s toughest year — a record for store closings

The planned closures, which need court approval, are expected to begin early next month and be mostly completed by the end of April, Toys “R” Us CEO Dave Brandon said in a message to customers posted on the company’s website.

“The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company,” he said.

Several other stores will be converted into co-branded Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us outlets, Brandon added.

Related: How the toy makers lost their Christmas magic

Toys “R” Us stores outside the U.S. are unaffected.

Melanie Teed-Murch, president of Toys “R” Us Canada, said in a statement that all 83 locations there would continue operating as usual.

The news comes after a brutal year for retailers in the U.S. in which store closings more than tripled from the previous year to nearly 7,000 closings, setting a record. There was also an increase in the number of store openings, as more successful retailers moved into vacated locations. But the year marked the first time since the Great Recession of 2009 that there was an absolute decrease in the number of U.S. stores, according to Fung Global Retail & Technology, a retail industry think tank.

Much of the problem in traditional brick-and-mortar stores was because of a shift by consumers to buying more goods online. Foot traffic in stores fell 8% last year, according to Fung.

But the problems at Toys “R” Us predate the growth of online shopping. It suffered from fierce competition and lost market share to fellow big-box retailers like Walmart (WMT) and Target. It has lost nearly $2.5 billion since its last reported an annual profit five years ago, which has left it reeling under $5 billion in debt.

Unlike other retailers that have been steadily closing unprofitable locations, Toys “R” Us continued to add stores right up until recently. It had 1,691 company-owned stores as of a year ago, up from 1,622 a year earlier. Still, the store closings announcement was not a surprise. CEO Dave Brandon said in December that the company was studying the question of whether to close stores. The bankruptcy process makes it less costly for retailers to break the lease on unprofitable locations.

The company’s same-store sales fell 4.4% in the quarter ended October, with its U.S. stores experiencing a sharper drop of 7%. The toy industry at large is also facing headwinds, with key manufacturers like Lego and Mattel struggling with declining sales.

12 COMMENTS

  1. All these store closing…..I find it very sad. Toys R Us, some Babies R Us, and not too long ago, US Toys in Apopka, and Albertsons grocery. Some Macy’s, K-Marts, more Sears, more JC Penneys, some Sam’s Clubs, Walmart Express stores, and some Sonny’s Bar-B-Q’s, not too long ago, but the Apopka one was saved. Very very sad, is all I can say. Also, almost every time I travel up 436, I see people holding mattress store signs advertising that they are going out of business. One type of store you never see going out of business is the gun stores!

  2. Huggies company is even laying off, big time, because there is not enough babies being born, to keep up the demand for their product. Unbelievable!

  3. One of the saddest photos ever in the Orlando Sentinel, as of lately, was the two little monkeys that had been successfully cloned over in China, that opens to door to what the Chinese companies want to use them for, which is to clone them in mass for medical research. These two little monkeys were both females, and they were sitting there looking at the camera, and holding onto each other, in each other’s arms hugging. It broke my heart, to see that those innocent little baby animals will be used like that for the rest of their lives.

  4. Reba McEntire, as the latest to play Colonel Sanders of KFC fame, also the first woman to play the Colonel….. now, that is positively weird. No, no, no……I am not feelin’ her, in this role. lol

  5. Reba McEntire, as the latest to play Colonel Sanders of KFC fame, also the first woman to play the Colonel…now that is positively weird. No, no, no….I am not feelin’ her, in this role. lol

  6. I was looking at the New York Post, and saw a headline about a mayor in Florida, suspended from office, and it was the mayor of Hallandale Beach. She was charged with 3 felonies and 1 misdemeanor. The felonies were allegedly for money laundering, exceeding the limits of campaign donations allowed, I think, and misconduct, I believe. The misdemeanor charge was for allegedly soliciting campaign money in a government building. You all can read the article in the New York Post, to get the facts correct that they wrote about. The mayor is a woman. Florida Governor Rick Scott removed her by suspending her from office, until the charges are determined, I assume. She has a lawyer and says she will fight the charges. I was thinking that maybe it was the Groveland mayor, since the city council there had claimed he had a felony, and voted to remove him, but no, this article was about the mayor of Hallandale Beach.

  7. To everybody that had said Trump was going to save us some big tax dollars, and that we would not have to pay as much in, on our income taxes if he got elected….what a joke. I remember one person who said I should have voted for Trump, and if I had of, and he got elected, we wouldn’t owe ANY taxes….ha! You know who you are…lol. I didn’t fall for that crud! Anyway, news flash….. we will get back two dollars more this year, than last year, and guess what? The tax preparer charged us four dollars more this year, than last year, to do our taxes, even though we are repeat customers, but they say it goes up every year. Meanwhile, how much are those corporations and the top 1% of big money people, saving per Trump???

  8. According to the tax preparer, it will be people with children, the bigger families, that will feel the stiffer tax burden next year, as it all changes, how it if figured. I don’t fully understand it, but the standard deduction of 12, 700 per married couple filling jointly and not itemizing this year, will increase to 24, 000 something next year, I think it was, and that is a good thing, but the other deduction per dependent of 4, 100 or so, will be eliminated altogether, and then I was told the base rate, of like what we pay, will go up 2 percent, in our level, not sure about other levels, after all the deductions, so we should benefit next year, and get more, but people with a lot of children could pay more, according to the tax people. I am just saying what they said, as I don’t know about how all this is figured.

  9. As creepy as I will find it, I will watch Trump’s state of the union address on Tuesday. Then I will be sure to tune in for my personal system’s recovery afterwards, and watch Jimmy Kimmel’s show, as he is going to have Stormy Daniels, that he described as “very talented”, on as a guest……lol Geesh, what could they possibly talk about on mainstream media?

  10. It seems like to me, that since Bannon is out of the WH, plus so many others too, that the Miller guy there, the creepy one, Steve, I think, that looks like he is out of a horror movie…..it seems to me, he is the one going wild. Where on earth did Trump find him? Honestly. Is he the one running the big show now? Doesn’t seem to be Kelly to me, or Trump either.

  11. The first lady didn’t go trotting off with her old man to Switzerland. I don’t blame her. I guess she didn’t want to be a Swiss Miss. She is MAD at the Donald, no doubt! I don’t care what messages she puts out otherwise…..lol

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