The holiday shopping season is right around the corner, but it may be too little too late for Toys “R” Us, the country’s largest retail toy store chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday.
Toys “R” Us is just the latest chain to experience poor sales performance, and this Chapter 11 filing is among the largest ever by a specialty retailer, casting doubt over the future of the company’s approximately 1,600 stores and 64,000 employees.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal predicted that the company would take the step before the key holiday selling season, a sign of tough times for retail online and discount shopping outlets as more than 300 retailers have filed for bankruptcy so far this year, according to data from BankruptcyData.com. Toys “R” Us joins retailers such as Payless, Gymboree and The Limited in filing.
Consumer expert Clark Howard wrote a piece last week stating that those retailers closing up shop are doing so because they’re not giving people what they want in terms of things like price, fashion, and selection. As a result, shoppers are increasingly turning to online and discount merchants for better deals. According to Howard:
“The reality is that America has been over-stored. We have far too many retail locations, shopping centers and branches of different chains. But stores that are meeting your needs with low prices will continue to thrive.”
Major retailers that are closing stores in 2017:
- Vitamin World
- JC Penney
- Ascena Retail Group (Ann Taylor, Loft, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Justice, etc…)
- True Religion
- Michael Kors
- Payless Shoe Store
- Bebe Stores
- Abercrombie and Fitch
- The Limited
- Wet Seal
- American Apparel
- Gander Mountain
- Family Christian
“If you have any gift cards in your home that are for major retailers, I want you to go and shop. I want you to use them up,” Clark said. “And when you don’t know what to give somebody, give them a nice card and give them cash. You don’t have to worry about the store closing when you give them cash.”
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