Toys 'R' Us CEO says company no longer has 'financial support' t - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Toys 'R' Us CEO says company no longer has 'financial support' to keep US stores open

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CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -

Toys "R" Us Kids plans to close or sell every store in the United States, ending a 70-year era.

While it's clear online shopping hurts in-store retail, the issue lies much deeper than that.

“I think certain retailers are impacted by more than what you're seeing online,” said Michael Tabor, partner at Trio Commercial Property Group. “It's not just online that's hurting retailers like Toys R Us. A lot of it is private equity money that buys these groups out. They do leveraged buyouts, and over time, a seven-year hold or so, they got their money back. So there's really no incentive to keep them open.”

Toys "R" Us is billions of dollars in debt and filed for bankruptcy protection in September.

“I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the company's U.S. operations,” said Dave Brandon, the company’s CEO.

Closing the doors affects more than 30,000 employees nationwide, including in Clarksville on Lewis and Clark Parkway and in Louisville on Outer Loop.

“I'm very surprised,” Toys "R" Us shopper Holly Terry said Thursday.

A company spokesperson said this also includes Babies "R" Us on Shelbyville Road in Saint Matthews. The Toys R Us across the street was already planning to close, as well as the store at the Shops at the Blue Grass in Simpsonville.

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