ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Leaders at Toys 'R' Us confirmed Thursday that the toy giant will shut down all of their U.S. stores very soon.
Economists said the company faced a number of issues including a heap of debt that they just couldn’t overcome.
Many called the closure “the end of an era” Thursday. The company has been open in one form or another for 70 years, and many visiting local stores Thursday recalled growing up visiting the store.
Toys 'R' Us is just the latest major retailer to fall in recent years. Other giants like Circuit City, Gander Mountain, FAO Schwarz, Radio Shack, and Kmart are either gone or nearly extinct.
University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith said the makeup of the industry has changed dramatically with the rise of e-commerce and expansion of “everything” stores like Target and Walmart.
"This big box model just was not working for some,” said Snaith. "There's going to have to be a change. Retail's going to have to be an experience instead of just a big box with products on the shelves."
Snaith expects other big names will disappear as well if they aren’t able to adapt to the new way of doing business.
Leaders at Toys 'R' Us said there’s no timeline yet for the shuttering of their US stores. A representative said on Thursday that customers with gift cards or reward points should plan to use them in the next 30 days.