SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Toys "R" Us is reportedly closing all its U.S. stores next week after the bankrupt company was not able to find a buyer, according to Bloomberg News.
The U.S. branch of the company hoped to find a buyer or work out a debt restructuring deal, and unnamed sources are leaking to business outlets that the company will liquidate its assets. Toys "R" Us accounts for 15 percent of the U.S. toy revenue, Bloomberg reports.
Earlier this year, the company announced it would close about 182 stores as part of its bankruptcy reorganization, which included Babies "R" Us stores.
Needless to say, customers are heartbroken and say this type of change is not a good change.
"It's not the same," says one mother.
"It just still wouldn't be the same," another agreed.
"You gotta get there. You gotta get in the store. You know it's a different vibe when you go inside of the store," says a father as he walked out with toys for his kids.
Folks shopping say Toys "R" Us is not just a store. When they walk in with their kids, the experience is more like a child's playground.
"It's like nostalgia. I mean, everybody's gone to Toys "R" Us since they were a kid," Kayla Pitzer said as she shopped with her son.
While children will lose a jungle gym playscape, parents say they'll lose the place they make precious memories.
"Like the motorized vehicles in the back, he would always run back there and get on them," says Dean Deese while shopping for his son. "We've been coming out here since he could walk; 2-3 years old. Almost every weekend we would spend hours out here. When it's gone, it's going to really be hard on us."
No one from the company would comment on the record to various media outlets calling about the possible closure, but their Twitter account thanked customers for their support.
The rumors affected toy companies in the stock market on Friday; shares for Hasbro fell by 3.5 percent and 7 percent for Mattel, CNN Money reports. The toy chain accounts of 10 percent of sales for both toy companies.
Earlier this week, Lego announced its first sales decrease in 13 years.
According to CNN, the toy industry is faltering a bit recently because of the rise of video games and other high-tech toys that kids are increasingly demanding, instead of action figures, dolls and board games.
The same CNN report says that Amazon is pushing toy prices lower, hurting not only Toys "R" Us, but Target and Walmart toy sales as well.