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Toys R Us bankruptcy filing?

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  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    edited February 2018
    Stopped by one of the TRUs going out of business.
    Despite the "LEGO EXCLUDED" signs, most were scanning at 10% off.
    There were a few that did not...

    Picked up a few Bat Pods they had.
    madforLEGO
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 388
    I went on Saturday and the Lego was still excluded.  I asked every employee in the store and none had any idea when the Lego would be included.  The manager did say that TRU is not actually in charge of the sale - another company is doing that.  She did not believe that anything was going to be moved to another TRU that was not closing.  I'm going back again today (yes, I'm a gluten for punishment) to check it out. 
  • Thanos75Thanos75 Member Posts: 1,117
    We had a TRU that was closing in the first round of store closings two years a go. While there were TRU managers and employees present it was being overseen by a liquidation company. They had huge signs saying everything is for sale, even the fixtures. I tried buying some of the Lego signage and displays and he said it wasn't for sale. He actually followed the employees outside and made them smash the displays.
    SumoLego
  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 826
    Thanos75 said:
    We had a TRU that was closing in the first round of store closings two years a go. While there were TRU managers and employees present it was being overseen by a liquidation company. They had huge signs saying everything is for sale, even the fixtures. I tried buying some of the Lego signage and displays and he said it wasn't for sale. He actually followed the employees outside and made them smash the displays.

    Yeah, for displays there are often some brand licensing agreements in place that mean they must be destroyed and/or returned (or stored by the to the originating company after their use is over.  This is also very common for displays at movie theaters, which my sister likes to collect as she can, and is the only reason I know about these rules. :)
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 408
    Do you guys walk to the stores or stop by on the way to something else?  I would think driving to TRU so much negates some of the discount you're looking for.  The only time I look for sales in store is when I go to Target for groceries and stop by the LEGO aisle. 
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,766
    daewoo said:
    I went on Saturday and the Lego was still excluded.  I asked every employee in the store and none had any idea when the Lego would be included.  The manager did say that TRU is not actually in charge of the sale - another company is doing that.  She did not believe that anything was going to be moved to another TRU that was not closing.  I'm going back again today (yes, I'm a gluten for punishment) to check it out. 
    You’re a what for punishment? :)
    Bumblepants77ncaachampsPapaBearjuggles7kiki180703GiantOrangeMr_Cross
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    A glutton for gluten?
    PapaBearAstrobricksjuggles7kiki180703BumblepantsMr_CrossSprinkleOtter
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    daewoo said:
    I went on Saturday and the Lego was still excluded.  I asked every employee in the store and none had any idea when the Lego would be included.  The manager did say that TRU is not actually in charge of the sale - another company is doing that.  She did not believe that anything was going to be moved to another TRU that was not closing.  I'm going back again today (yes, I'm a gluten for punishment) to check it out. 
    When you say that it was excluded, do you meant you scanned some sets and they weren't discounted?

    Or there were signs up saying they were excluded?

    My TRU had the "exclusion" signs up but they were still be recognized in the system as 10% for a lot of sets.
  • eddieweddiew South JerseyMember Posts: 80
    A glutton for gluten?
    I never touch the stuff: it goes straight to my glutes.
    Astrobrickskiki180703Bumblepants77ncaachampsMr_CrossSprinkleOtter
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,550

    Thanos75 said:
    We had a TRU that was closing in the first round of store closings two years a go. While there were TRU managers and employees present it was being overseen by a liquidation company. They had huge signs saying everything is for sale, even the fixtures. I tried buying some of the Lego signage and displays and he said it wasn't for sale. He actually followed the employees outside and made them smash the displays.
    Kind of a dick thing to do IMO, considering those would make them money, which is what I though a liquidation company wants to do (and yes I get that there are rules for not allowing displays to be sold).
  • scotty12scotty12 United States, IowaMember Posts: 693


    Thanos75 said:
    We had a TRU that was closing in the first round of store closings two years a go. While there were TRU managers and employees present it was being overseen by a liquidation company. They had huge signs saying everything is for sale, even the fixtures. I tried buying some of the Lego signage and displays and he said it wasn't for sale. He actually followed the employees outside and made them smash the displays.
    Exact same situation when here when the TRU closed.  But most of the TRU employees were replaced...except for the few managers.  So it was impossible to get an answer from anyone.  "Employees" who'd been working a week at a closing store...and were basically there to condense shelves or liquidators who had no knowledge of the TRU business.

  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,968
    Most LEGO sets weren't on sale and/or specifically excluded from the 10% off. The few sets that were a good deal were ones I'd also seen on clearance elsewhere, and weren't a great deal. This fits with TRU planning to move around their LEGO inventory, rather than get rid of it all.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,766
    KingAlanI said:
    Most LEGO sets weren't on sale and/or specifically excluded from the 10% off. The few sets that were a good deal were ones I'd also seen on clearance elsewhere, and weren't a great deal. This fits with TRU planning to move around their LEGO inventory, rather than get rid of it all.
    Did you scan a few sets to see if the 10% was being applied despite the signs, like @77ncaachamps found?
    KingAlanI
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 388
    daewoo said:
    I went on Saturday and the Lego was still excluded.  I asked every employee in the store and none had any idea when the Lego would be included.  The manager did say that TRU is not actually in charge of the sale - another company is doing that.  She did not believe that anything was going to be moved to another TRU that was not closing.  I'm going back again today (yes, I'm a gluten for punishment) to check it out. 
    When you say that it was excluded, do you meant you scanned some sets and they weren't discounted?

    Or there were signs up saying they were excluded?

    My TRU had the "exclusion" signs up but they were still be recognized in the system as 10% for a lot of sets.


    Signs were up all over the place and I scanned quite a few items as well.  No discounts.  I asked an employee when the store was closing and she said that she thought it was in April.  Still no idea when the Lego would be discounted.

    The location that I've been visiting is only four miles from my work, so it's not really out of the way for me to get there.

    As for wrong use of a word, well, I have bad brain farts and spell check only tells me when I spell a word wrong, not when I've used the wrong word entirely.  But hey, at least I spelled it right!

  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    @daewoo That stinks for you. I don't understand how one system in another state issues 10% discounts for "excluded sets" yet another doesn't.

    No wonder TRU is having problems.
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,968
    KingAlanI said:
    Most LEGO sets weren't on sale and/or specifically excluded from the 10% off. The few sets that were a good deal were ones I'd also seen on clearance elsewhere, and weren't a great deal. This fits with TRU planning to move around their LEGO inventory, rather than get rid of it all.
    Did you scan a few sets to see if the 10% was being applied despite the signs, like @77ncaachamps found?
    I hadn't expected to be lucky on the ones with yellow dots. Many of those were at or above MSRP anyway so 10% wouldn't have helped.

    I did scan #41231, which didn't have a yellow dot, to make sure it was actually 10% off like it was supposed to. It was already 50% off, so total 55%, but not as dramatic as that discount usually is since it was priced high for the piececount

  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,766
    I was at a closing store yesterday. Most LEGO sets were marked on the shelves with yellow dots indicating they were NOT on sale. Everything else was at least 10% off. A few things were discounted more heavily, like the SH Girls sets. Walked out with nothing.
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 388
    I went yesterday and the signs and yellow dots were still there but everything I scanned came up with a 10% discount. 
    Astrobrickskiki180703
  • CaptainRogersCaptainRogers Greensboro, NCMember Posts: 784
    Just read that Toys R Us is closing ANOTHER 200 stores. With the previously announced closures, that's 44% of their stores total!
    FizyxmadforLEGOkiki180703
  • flordflord CanadaMember Posts: 705
    ^ Holy crap. That’s a lot of stores and a lot of people out of work.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    edited February 2018
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/business/toys-r-us-stores.html

    Toys “R” Us, the beleaguered chain under pressure from Amazon and bigger toy sellers, may close dozens of more stores as it struggles to find a path out of bankruptcy and return to financial viability.

    The toy retailer has not recovered from a dismal holiday selling season, making the company’s difficult situation even worse. Now, it is under pressure to demonstrate to its lenders that it has a realistic strategy for flourishing in the ultracompetitive toy industry.

    One plan under discussion includes shutting down close to 200 stores, and possibly more, according to people briefed on the matter, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

    While the planning is fluid and far from completion, the possible store closings, which were reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal, reflect the serious challenges that Toys “R” Us faces.

    “If you look at the numbers, it doesn’t look good,” said Richard Gottlieb, an analyst and the publisher of Global Toy News. “And it appears that some dramatic action is going to have to take place.’’

    Toys “R” Us has already been taking steps to stabilize its business. Last month, the company said it was shutting down 182 stores, affecting 4,500 workers.

    It is not clear whether any additional closings would occur in the United States, or overseas. The company operates about 800 stores in the United States.

    Even as other retailers experienced strong holiday sales, Toys “R” Us cited undisclosed “operational missteps” in explaining its poor performance.

    Analysts say the company’s biggest problem stems from its filing last year for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, after its private equity owners left it saddled with $5 billion in debt.

    The bankruptcy filing, only months before Christmas, left many shoppers with the impression that the company was shutting down, even though it planned to keep all its stores operating through the holidays, said Jim Silver, the editor of TTPM, a toy review website.

    “There was too much consumer perception that they were not going to be around, and it hurt their traffic incredibly,” Mr. Silver said. “When you are buying toys, you want to know you can return them and your gift cards will work.”

    Another big challenge came from competitors like Walmart and Amazon, which pushed toys heavily during the holiday season, just as Toys “R” Us was struggling to win back customers and calm jittery vendors.

    Toys “R” Us is entering a crucial time, as it prepares to buy toys to sell for the next holiday season. It needs to persuade its lenders, which have extended money to the company in bankruptcy, to keep that spigot flowing. But lenders need to know that the company is viable over the long term.

    Analysts say that a primarily bricks-and-mortar toy retailer can succeed, but that its stores have to be smaller, unlike the hulking Toys “R” Us facilities that dot suburban strip malls.

    “A toy store needs to be fun and engaging and interactive,” said Mr. Silver. “Toys “R” Us has been talking about better customer service and experiences, but they never really transpired.”

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,550
    flord said:
    ^ Holy crap. That’s a lot of stores and a lot of people out of work.
    Don't worry, those 'poor' executives will still get their bonuses and be able to sell their stock (if they had not already before this negative news came out)
    KingAlanI
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 408
    Told ya

    They just have way too much debt.  A couple billion would maybe be workable, but 5 billion is a black hole.  TRU has a lot of problems and I think it will need to continue to downsize.

    Nobody can compete with Amazon anymore.  If it's not broken up within a few years it will start killing the rest of the retailers.  Personally, I've been stepping away from Amazon and I've been shopping at Target a lot more.
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    Location plays a role for me. TRU is just way too out of the way for me. I work near a Target, so they easily get more money. I've heard of price matching being great there, but I've only recently got a smart phone, so I've never attempted it. Amazon's prices are great, but if other businesses would price match, then I would never need to shop on Amazon either.
    datsunrobbieKingAlanI
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,533
    Location is a major factor for me as well. Fortunately for me, the closest Toys R Us dodged the first round of closures. I was not so lucky with Sam's Club. They closed the one a mile from my house, and now the closest is an hour away by car. I cancelled my membership the day they closed the local store, after 17 years of membership.
    SumoLegokiki180703
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,766
    Sethro3 said:
    Location plays a role for me. TRU is just way too out of the way for me. I work near a Target, so they easily get more money. I've heard of price matching being great there, but I've only recently got a smart phone, so I've never attempted it. Amazon's prices are great, but if other businesses would price match, then I would never need to shop on Amazon either.
    Not sure how long price matching is going to last either. Walmart quit doing it last summer, and I recently tried at an OfficeMax, but the cashier said they had to stop because they couldn’t compete against Amazon’s loss-leaders and stay in business.
  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 553
    IAstrobricks said:
    Not sure how long price matching is going to last either. Walmart quit doing it last summer, and I recently tried at an OfficeMax, but the cashier said they had to stop because they couldn’t compete against Amazon’s loss-leaders and stay in business.
    I hope my local TRU survives the second round of closings. If they get rid of price match though, I won't have a reason to go there. Any exclusives they carry I can get at [email protected] 

    I remember in the 90's and early 00's how everyone was hating on Walmart for building so many stores. They were "driving Mom and Pop stores out of business." Now Amazon is demolishing local business, but the same people (literally, for me, the same people) that were hating on Walmart will tell me "I can get it cheaper on Amazon" when we are out shopping or discussing buying things. I personally won't give my money to Amazon. 
  • Game_onGame_on USAMember Posts: 92
    I went in to a TrU just recently.  First time in a while since their prices are usually a couple bucks over most other retailers. 

    It was a ghost town.  No one around. I only saw employees when I made my way back up to the front of the store to cash out. 

    They had all of the new Speed Champions sets out, so I picked up the Mustang. 
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,899
    edited February 2018
    I just bought a dymo 4xl label printer from Amazon for $158. The price included an extra roll of 220 labels. The same printer from Staples is $279.99. I buy everything I can from Amazon unless I need I right now. If I can wait two days, it's almost always cheaper on Amazon. There is no use fighting it. I support local companies when I can or it makes sense to do so. I have no love or loyalty to any of the chains though.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    I guess my hope is Costco starts to carry more Lego!!
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 408
    edited February 2018
    Walmart is being hurt the most by Amazon right now.  They both have the lowest prices, but Walmart has far more overhead.  Walmart is blowing money trying to compete with them online.  TRU might as well just pack it in at this point.  Amazon will lose money on things like toys until they own all the market share.  I doubt people will love Amazon then.
  • OubirdOubird OklahomaMember Posts: 52
    On topic 

    TRU now most lego is 20%.  Cashier stated reward points may stop being accepted at closing stores 
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 388
    I went this past weekend and picked up 60051 and 60052 since they scanned at 25% off.  I didn't want to miss them since they are retiring.  I'll wait until deeper discounts to pick anything else up.
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,311
    Not looking good in the UK...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43219651


  • scottwb2010scottwb2010 ScotlandMember Posts: 239
    ^TRU UK gone into administration but continuing to trade for now
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    Not looking good in the UK...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43219651


    YEESH!!!

    im pouring one out for TRU tonight!
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,766
    edited March 2018
    Stopped into the Minnetonka store today. Still a lot of yellow dots in the LEGO section indicating no discount. I’d say less than half are discounted, and those were 20% off. Some of the shelves in the Creator, City, and Friends sections are starting to get bare. I did find the #5005406-1 Ninjago display case marked at $30 and discounted 20% so I got another at $24.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    Keep scanning the items.

    I went to a local TRU that's closing and their MOST of their Star Wars were non-sale.
    But some of the older sets (Rogue One) were discounted.

    The current storewide percentage is 40%, but the Lego that was discounted was coming up at 30% off.
  • Pumpkin_3CK5Pumpkin_3CK5 CaliforniaMember Posts: 779
    ^Saw that at another site which made me decide to use my points, before it's too late lolz.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,899
    edited March 2018
    To be fair, I worked for toys r us in the 90s. They were largely incompetent then as a company. Bain didn't do them any favors, but I firmly believe the outcome would have been the same no matter what. Just look at Sears and kmart. 
    eggshenSumoLegoPapaBear
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,586
    I'd also give Amazon and non-brick-and-mortar retailers a nod for being ruthlessly efficient resulting in the timely demise of shaky retailers.

    And I totally agree with @pharmjod - TRU has been poorly run for decades.  Hopefully this will embolden a regional toy retailer to fill the void!  (If such a thing exists.)

    A forward-thinking company gets ahead of possible disruptive circumstances.  (Thus why they are working on their own delivery service.)
    pharmjodFizyxryjay
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,586
    (It's also worth reading the Wikipedia article on 'Child World'.)
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001
    SumoLego said:

    A forward-thinking company gets ahead of possible disruptive circumstances.  (Thus why they are working on their own delivery service.)
    bingo....which by the way, a "delivery service" is what they actually are in the business of....assuming we are talking about Amazon.  Doesn't matter what they are delivering, just along as they can do it cheaper, quicker, and right to your door.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    I guess the sands of time just went into quicksand mode:
    http://money.cnn.com/2018/03/09/investing/toys-r-us-closing-hasbro-mattel/index.html?sr=twCNN030918toys-r-us-closing-hasbro-mattel1248PMStory

    Bankrupt retailer Toys "R" Us may shut all its US stores as soon as next week, according to several reports.

    That's terrible news for the two biggest publicly traded toy companies. Investors are clearly preparing for the worst. Shares of Hasbro (HAS) fell 3.5% Friday morning while Mattel (MAT)plunged 7%.

    Smaller toy company Jakks Pacific (JAKK) fell nearly 5% too. Canada's Spin Master, which owns the popular line of Hatchimals toys, was down about 3% as well on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

    And everything isn't awesome for privately held European toy giant Lego either. The plastic bricks maker reported its first sales drop in thirteen years earlier this week. So these are clearly tough times for the toy makers.

    A spokesperson for Toys "R" Us declined to comment on the liquidation chatter.

    Toys "R" Us recently went into administration in the UK, paving the path for stores there to shut their doors. And the potential closing of Toys "R" Us in America would be a particularly huge blow to Hasbro and Mattel.

    According to recent regulatory filings from both companies, Toys "R" Us accounted for nearly 10% of the companies' overall sales.

    Toys "R" Us is the last megastore dedicated to toys. Without it, toymakers will struggle to promote anything but their most popular items.

    The death of a top customer is the last thing that Mattel and Hasbro need right now.

    Related: 5,300 UK jobs at risk as Toys "R" Us and another big British retailer collapse

    Mattel's overall sales during the fourth quarter (i.e, Christmas) fell 12% from a year ago, led by big drops for the Fisher-Price, American Girl and Lego competitor Mega Bloks brands.

    Hasbro reported a decline in sales during the fourth quarter, despite the fact that the Nerf and My Little Pony owner now holds nearly all of the lucrative licenses tied to movies from Disney and its many other studios -- Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.

    Hasbro said that Star Wars product sales actually fell in the fourth quarter, as did sales of Disney Frozen toys.

    The softness in the toy industry is partly due to the rise of video games and other high-tech toys that kids are increasingly playing with instead of action figures, dolls and board games.

    But the shifting tide in retail isn't helping either. The dominance of Amazon (AMZN) has put pressure on many consumer products companies as Amazon has made a relentless push to lower prices.

    Recent struggles at Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) are also hurting Hasbro and Mattel.

    Walmart is the largest customer for Mattel and Hasbro, accounting for about 20% of total sales for each toy maker. Both toy companies get nearly 10% of their revenue from Target too.

    Related: The Hasbro-Mattel merger just don't die

    So what's next for Mattel and Hasbro? Investors are still hoping that Mattel's new CEO Margo Georgiadis, formerly an executive at Google (GOOGL), will be able to turn around the company with a greater focus on interactive toys.

    Time may be running out for both companies though, which is why there have been frequent rumors that Hasbro may buy Mattel.

    Investors have dreamed about a possible merger between the two companies since November, following a story in the Wall Street Journal that said Hasbro was going to make a bid. Reuters later reported that Mattel turned Hasbro's offer down.

    Takeover chatter resurfaced in late January. A spokesperson for Mattel told CNNMoney at the time that the company had no comment on the new speculation. Hasbro did not get back to CNNMoney.

    But as long as both companies continue to struggle, expect merger rumors to keep swirling.

    CNNMoney (New York)First published March 9, 2018: 12:21 PM ET
    madforLEGOFowlerBricksOubirdryjay
  • PapaBearPapaBear East CoastMember Posts: 408
    Pretty much called this earlier on this board.  Can't stay in business when you are as inefficient, in debt, and behind on tech as much as TRU was.
  • CaptainRogersCaptainRogers Greensboro, NCMember Posts: 784
    In related news, I stopped by TRU last night and they had BOGO 40% off Brickheadz, plus #30356 City Hot Dog Stand was in stock. I picked up one along with their Star Wars exclusive Brickheadz.
    MooreFXmadforLEGOFowlerBricks77ncaachamps
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,550
    In related news, I stopped by TRU last night and they had BOGO 40% off Brickheadz, plus #30356 City Hot Dog Stand was in stock. I picked up one along with their Star Wars exclusive Brickheadz.
    They have the Friends flower poly and batmobile poly as well.

    Makes me wonder if we will see less polys if TRU goes away. Also would explain how the Hot dog cart is reportedly at TRU, Target, and Walmart.
    It will be a sad day when TRU shuts it doors as I have many fond memories of TRU going back into my childhood.
    MooreFXflord
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