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Toys R Us bankruptcy filing?

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  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,500
    I will say this, if these toys line go away it will be a sad day for any developing kid. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I feel that a big part of things like LEGO and Hot Wheels is much more beneficial than a touch screen for tactile experience when young and developing.
    BumblepantsMr_CrossMAGNINOMINISUMBRAcatwranglerdatsunrobbiemonkeyhangerTXLegoguykiki180703
  • ReesesPiecesReesesPieces Member Posts: 861
    Man, I'm gonna cry if TRU goes bankrupt. I buy most of my Lego products from there.
    With all rheir markups, will YOU also be filing for bankruptcy?

    PapaBearKingAlanIkiki180703
  • sklambsklamb speaker of American EnglishMember Posts: 490

    Frankly, I might have been a regular customer at my local TRU (which is much more convenient for me than the local Lego Store, despite the fact it really is a *local* Lego store) if it weren't for the frequent large markups. Even though they don't mark everything up they do mark up enough sets that I never feel confident buying anything there unless I know for a fact what the MSRP is, or it's a polybag.

    Yes, that's probably because of their debt load etc etc. But if I have to give away some of my money in order to keep local brick-and-mortar enterprises going, it's going to be to bookstores.

    77ncaachampscatwranglerBoomstickkiki180703
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,283
    I think this article might help. It also says the toy industry is suffering in general due to tech becoming the next thing. It mentions LEGO briefly.
    http://fox8.com/2017/09/18/toys-r-us-bankruptcy-fears-hit-mattel-and-hasbro-as-holiday-shopping-season-approaches/
    Don't worry, I'll keep LEGO in business.
    Mynattgmonkey76OnebricktoomanycatwranglerSumoLegokiki180703
  • sklambsklamb speaker of American EnglishMember Posts: 490

    I think many of us will be doing our share to keep TLG profitable!

    Intrigues me that the Lego themes which have least connection to computers, automation, licensed content, video games, etc are holding up at least as well as lines more closely connected to such things. Makes me suspect that children are still just as keen to play with real, physical objects as ever. There may be hope for us all yet....

    Onebricktoomany
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,823
    edited September 2017
    I think this article might help. It also says the toy industry is suffering in general due to tech becoming the next thing. It mentions LEGO briefly.
    http://fox8.com/2017/09/18/toys-r-us-bankruptcy-fears-hit-mattel-and-hasbro-as-holiday-shopping-season-approaches/
    It's interesting how they mention that TRU closed their big flagship NY store in Times Square, but opened a smaller, temporary one recently - basically a pop-up shop, and something I've also seen over here with other toyshops in the last few years. And again, often in the run-up to Christmas. I wonder if that's the way to go for some of these companies: smaller overheads, but still room for whatever are the most popular toy lines...
    Kerre
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,101
    edited September 2017
    Maybe already linked but this Bloomburg article was interesting.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/toys-r-us-creditors-saw-a-game-of-chicken-turn-into-dominoes/ar-AAseinn

    One line that caught my eye was that some suppliers were refusing to ship product unless TRU paid cash. I wonder if Lego will continue to stock them. My guess is that they will considering the long partnership they have like the upcoming Bricktober minifig sets.  
    stlux
  • nuttamastabuildanuttamastabuilda USAMember Posts: 54
    sklamb said:

    Frankly, I might have been a regular customer at my local TRU (which is much more convenient for me than the local Lego Store, despite the fact it really is a *local* Lego store) if it weren't for the frequent large markups. Even though they don't mark everything up they do mark up enough sets that I never feel confident buying anything there unless I know for a fact what the MSRP is, or it's a polybag.

    Yes, that's probably because of their debt load etc etc. But if I have to give away some of my money in order to keep local brick-and-mortar enterprises going, it's going to be to bookstores.

    My thoughts exactly.  Gotta support brick-and-mortar.

    Hopefully TRU survives this.  TRU was the most consistent and fastest at getting CMFs and polybags to the shelves in my area.  Their retailer exclusive GWP polybags, make-and-take sessions and Bricktober sets are things I don't see Target or Walmart doing.  Unfortunately, TRU's large markups turned me off from buying more than the absolute minimum possible.  That meant, I'd often wait until the GWP promo was over and try to buy the polybag outright.

    Besides, where else would LEGO be able to offer such an awful #40228 Geoffrey giraffe set.  Something about it made it a "must buy" for me.  LOL
  • ChubblesChubbles USAMember Posts: 459
    news has me spooked, gonna use my gift cards and any pending rewards this week
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,517
    Toys R Us customer service is not helping them. I noticed this morning that one of the two purchases I made at the local ToysRUs last Thursday did not include the 10% discount for using their credit card. They emailed the receipts rather than giving me a printed copy at time of sale.
    I contacted support via chat and was told it was a "store promotion", so I have to go back to the store to make a claim, despite having a big ad for the discount displayed beside the link for the chat. It is only $5, but the annoyance of having to print the receipt and remember to bring it on my next visit will be remembered for a long time, and now they will have to print my receipts in store for every purchase instead of emailing them. 
  • ImABrickManNowImABrickManNow BrickyMcBrickMember Posts: 270
    Man, I'm gonna cry if TRU goes bankrupt. I buy most of my Lego products from there.
    With all rheir markups, will YOU also be filing for bankruptcy?

    I sure hope not, how will I afford more Lego?!?! :P
    ReesesPieces
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,385
    I find it amusing that because TRU arbitrarily chooses a day last week to announce they need protection for creditors, all of a sudden there are multiple stories regarding the 'sudden' demise of the toy industry.

    TRU made a number of poor strategic decisions over the last decade - but the key cashflow issue is the debt payments from restructuring in 2005.  @stlux

    TRU sells product, and if the creditors still want payments, the doors will stay open.  (As TRU does have an operating profit if you ignore the debt payments.)

    I don't find the TRU staff particularly helpful, unless you are dealing with a store director.  I once had an employee that refused to accept a return on an item because I had two reciepts.  The store director was very nice and immediately refunded my money.  (Once.)

    monstblitzOnebricktoomanykiki180703
  • Pumpkin_3CK5Pumpkin_3CK5 CaliforniaMember Posts: 769
    As far as I remember, when the Tru by me was still a store and not a parking lot for used cars, there's a week or two when the toys are regular priced, especially when they're newly released. 
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 692
    edited October 2017
    Two suppliers stop deliveries to TRU UK. Probably just a matter of time before others follow. 

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/10/14/british-toys-r-us-shops-hit-supplier-fears/
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 630
    When I went into TRU last week to purchase enough stuff to get the Bricktober promotion, I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the Lego sets were priced at RRP, and not +15% as usual.  There were some exceptions, but generally RRP was the price point (and not the sale price; sale prices were even lower!).  Definitely the lowest TRU prices for Lego I've seen in years, if not ever.  My first thought was, this is the side effect of bankruptcy and not needing to pay your bills, but I'm sure it's more complicated than that...
  • MegtheCatMegtheCat Houston, TXMember Posts: 500
    All of the TRU stores in my area are hiring for the holidays, and even have a little paper that comes out with the receipt advertising this fact. So at least some locations are carrying on like usual.
  • HanzoHanzo VAMember Posts: 607
    They'd be insane to not operate normal through Christmas. But they better pull out all the stops or this could be their last. 
  • JooTogJooTog Southern CaliforniaMember Posts: 938
    as of yesterday, my local store had a good stock on LEGO, except for TLNM which they had only a handful of sets.

    I rarely go to any other section/aisle of the store, but did notice that they moved the Dimensions (and other toys to life) items back to the video game area.

    Same as @Oldfan , I noticed that the sets I looked at where all RRP.
    BrickByBrick
  • ggfileggfile CanadaMember Posts: 19
    I don't believe for a second that TRU is shutting their doors. TRU is actually showing substantial profits from almost all of their stores in Canada/USA. The only reason TRU has filed for bankruptcy protection is because of old debt from many years ago that is so large, that the debt eats more than all of TRU's profits. By filing bankruptcy, TRU is able to dissolve this old debt, thus eliminating it permanently. Because TRU is actually showing profits from its stores, the bankruptcy adjusters have no interest in closing stores and liquidating stock. Believe me when I say that the adjusters would much rather receive RRP for the merchandise, so this means that TRU will not be closing their doors and instead are operating "business as usual". After 9 months, TRU will no longer be bankrupt and will no longer be in debt either, allowing TRU to thrive. The reason the flagship store closed, it was one of only a few TRU stores that was showing losses instead of profits. My point? Don't be surprised to not only see TRU still exist in 5 years, but to be showing record profits for its shareholders. If I had $$$, I would be eager to buy TRU stock right now. This is my opinion only!
    KingAlanI
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 408
    I'm not saddened for the company because I think they are inefficient, overpriced, and unprofessional, but I do feel bad for the 64,000 employees that may lose their jobs.
    BoomstickmadforLEGOKerreMooreFXkiki180703
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,500
    PapaBear said:
    I'm not saddened for the company because I think they are inefficient, overpriced, and unprofessional, but I do feel bad for the 64,000 employees that may lose their jobs.
    Don't worry, the leaders of the company will still get any golden parachutes or sell off any assets left and will land safely to destroy.. sorry, meant to say 'lead' another company...
    KingAlanIPapaBearkiki180703
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,939
    I'm not so sentimental about TRU. The only retail experience I've really liked is the LEGO Store. I haven't gone much, but didn't have service problems when I did.
    They already have trouble on price and the corporate overlords aren't helping. The location nearest me is still a few miles out of my way. The store not having WiFi makes it harder to look for what is a good deal.


    MasterBeefymyscrnnmkiki180703
  • teal93mr2teal93mr2 USAMember Posts: 961
    edited January 2018
    ^And the point of that post is what exactly? Seems like millennial meanderings to me.
    oldtodd33TXLegoguyMasterBeefykiki180703
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,692
    ^ And the point of your post?
    goshe7AanchirMasterBeefyPapaBearmyscrnnmKingAlanIkiki180703
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,096
    I read the article floating around somewhere that came out last week showing what stores are closing - a TRU and a Babies R Us in my state - which I believe will leave just 1 TRU in the state!

    Anyway, I have read multiple articles lately (as I am sure many of you have) that points to various reasons why the demise of TRU is upon us.  So @SumoLego I think hit on a big one with the debt and restructuring the articles went into how its a myriad of things - cleanliness of stores, the welcoming environment of the store/staff, a decline in general of actual physical toys (thanks to tablets and video games) and of course the competition from ahem *amazon* ahem - not to mention the increased online presence of Walmart and Target.

    Ultimately, it will be a number of things that brings this one behemoth down - I just have those nostalgic (somewhat?) memories of when TRU used to be a bright. colorful and fun place to go, and it wasn't all that long ago!
    PapaBear
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 408
    ^ Yup, exactly why I don't go to TRU.

    Closing 20% of their stores.  New Jersey is losing almost 40%.  It will be a slow death for TRU. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,385
    edited January 2018
    I think TRU will survive.   Despite being mismanaged and running a bass-akward website, there is value in a national toy store chain.  TRU will contract in size and maybe only have one store pee market, but they'll still move plenty or product.

    Wal-Mart and Target move a lot of product, but toys are just one of thousands of items in-stores.  There needs to be a brick-and-mortar place for folks to buy toys.
    Fizyxteal93mr2madforLEGOKingAlanIkiki180703SprinkleOtterMr_CrossOmastar
  • NicksBricksNicksBricks United StatesMember Posts: 215
    If Best Buy can turn it around then there is potential for Toys R Us to do the same.
    SumoLegoFizyxKingAlanIkiki180703
  • jmeninnojmeninno The Batcave (MA)Member Posts: 755
    ^^Oh man, I could for for a one store pee market!
    BumblepantsSumoLego
  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 821
    SumoLego said:
    I think TRU will survive.   Despite being mismanaged and running a bass-akward website, there is value in a national toy store chain.  TRU will contract in size and maybe only have one store pee market, but they'll still move plenty or product.

    Wal-Mart and Target move a lot of product, but toys are just one of thousands of items in-stores.  There needs to be a brick-and-mortar place for folks to buy toys.

    Agree with this.  TRU's main problem, by an enormous margin, was its debt load.  Without that debt load it was a solid but not exciting company in terms of financial performance.  And it's been made pretty clear that basically the entire purpose of the bankruptcy is to deal with that debt load.  After they are out of the shadow of that, they will probably be fine even if they only made minor changes... and I think their closing under-performing stores and combining with BRUs shows that they are interested on making bigger changes to perform better in the future.
    KingAlanISumoLegoteal93mr2
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,385
    jmeninno said:
    ^^Oh man, I could for for a one store pee market!
    Autocorrect won that one, for sure!
    FizyxBillyBricks84
  • jmeninnojmeninno The Batcave (MA)Member Posts: 755
    Ha, I had an error in my reply!  For for?  Meant to say go for!
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 408
    IDK bad debt is bad debt.  Who is going to pay for all that debt?  Mitt Romney?

    Based on the last time Toys R Us was sold, it looks like it's debt is 3x as much as the toy store chain is actually worth.  They've been paying $400 million just on interest every year.  What a total waste of money.  That's 3% of their revenue and if I had to guess it's close to 30% of their profit.  Seriously, who is going to pay that debt?

    There is value of a national toy store chain, but that value is mainly of concern to toy manufacturers.  The only people I see willing to help TRU out is maybe Mattel, Hasbro, and LEGO.  However, toy sales have been declining for everyone and that may become more severe down the road.

    TRU suffered poor holiday sales last year when every other retailer reported record gains, especially Amazon.  https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/30/toys-r-us-poor-holiday-sales-cast-doubts-on-its-future.html

    TRU also still paying mega bonuses:  http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/06/news/companies/toys-r-us-executive-bonuses/index.html

    I don't think the store closures will help TRU significantly.  There are lots of crappy stores in my area that will still be open.  It's sad to say, but they are going to have to cut lots of employees and somehow actually get people into their stores, which may require selling more than just toys.  Just my opinion.


    legomental
  • scotty12scotty12 United States, IowaMember Posts: 693
    I think TRU just needs to narrow down their selection somewhat.  My only TRU closed in 2016 and when stuff was 75-80% off there were aisles left of old outdated merchandise. Mostly electronic gadgets.  And I had a manager friend that worked there when it closed and showed my all the crap that was stored in the back rooms....2 aisles from floor to ceiling just collecting dust...and this wasn't a large store and not a Babies R Us, so it didn't deal with clothing.  Have an idea what you want to be...selling toys, electronics, baby items.  You can't have everything for everybody....unless your not into making money.   
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,440

    MANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) -

    A Toys "R" Us and a Babies "R" Us that were slated to close are no longer on the list of stores shutting down in Connecticut.

    Last week, Toys “R” Us announced a plan to shutter a fifth of its U.S. stores including four in Connecticut.

    The company initially said it planned to close the Newington Toys "R" Us, both stores in North Haven and Waterbury, along with the Manchester Babies "R" Us.

    However, on Thursday, the Babies "R" Us Manchester and Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us Waterbury stores are no longer on the list.

    Now the only two stores on the list are Newington and North Haven.

  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,385
    TRU is BACK!

    (I started laughing as I was typing this.)
    BumblepantsFizyxMooreFXkiki180703gmonkey76
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,939
    @PapaBear the whole point of bankruptcy is to work around obligations like TRU's debt load, and if TRU can get along with that out of the way, then bankruptcy enables them to be successful again.
    Fizyx
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 408
    that's a big IF
    KingAlanI
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,692
    Store closing sales start today.
  • tcctcc Washington, DCMember Posts: 70
    LEGO excluded according to signs in stores.
    gmonkey76AstrobricksSumoLego
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,692
    tcc said:
    LEGO excluded according to signs in stores.
    Thanks for saving us all a trip. 
    Fizyx77ncaachampskiki180703gmonkey76OmastarM_Boss
  • datkiddedatkidde Member Posts: 108
    Besides how much savings it 30% off the usual TRU markup? Not surprised they are losing business. 
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,692
    datkidde said:
    Besides how much savings it 30% off the usual TRU markup? Not surprised they are losing business. 
    Also, the email said UP TO 30% off, so my hopes weren’t high in the first place.
  • willobee498willobee498 CanadalandMember Posts: 349
    Remember, closing a store they still want maximum profit, so discounts start out minor and slowly ramp up. And seeing as only some stores are closing, they may just ship a bunch of merchandise to other locations.
    juggles7
  • juggles7juggles7 United StatesMember Posts: 452
    Most of the "construction toys", including Lego are just 10% off, the first day of the sale. At my store, the sale includes polybags and sets already marked-down for clearance. Some sets, like the 2018 Star Wars, are marked as not included in the sale. Not yet, anyway. 
    Astrobricks
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    10% off puts some of those sets still over RRP/

    myscrnnmSumoLego
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,440
    That's why the focus should be on exclusives.
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 380
    I went yesterday to one of the closing stores and asked when the Lego stuff would be included (their Lego section shelves were full).  The employee didn't know.  I'm going back tomorrow to check it out again.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,440
    edited February 2018
    Any great snags out there?
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,096
    I would suspect that as someone already said most of whatever doesn’t sell just goes straight to other stores that aren’t closing. The only thing is taking into considering for the corporate office what the cost is to move all that stuff versus just continuing to discount more and more perhaps every few days or week perhaps.

    Logically however it makes sense to get rid of ad much as you can. Shipping product to another store can create another headache.
    madforLEGO
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