Toys R Us won’t be missed in Williamston

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The Toys R Us located in OKemos. Picture taken by Griffin Stroin.

The toy wonderland Toys R Us has declared bankruptcy. Its 735 stores around the U.S. will be liquidated and the once kid shopping paradise will plan on closing all stores permanently in April according to Business Insider.

The chain has said that poor holiday sales was the final straw that led to the collapse, but online shopping and other national stores like Target also played a huge role in their decision to file for bankruptcy according to a press release from Toys R Us.

With online shopping like Amazon becoming more and more popular every day sales at Toys R Us had been declining according to CNBC. 

“It is easier for me to buy toys like Legos online than to go to buy them at the store,” said Kathy Mcauliffe, a Williamston Alpaca employee. “Especially when you are trying to buy something for someone in another state. Amazon will ship it to them in two days and even gift wrap it.”

Another reason that was a major reason in the demise of the toy chain was because of today’s generation of children.

“As someone who works with kids on a regular basis, I have come to realize that kids do not really play with toys anymore, unless their infants or toddlers,” said Olivia Perrine, an Uncommon Goodies employee. “Once they get older they are more into video games or cellphones.”

TIME magazine recently published an article documenting how many feel about the chain closing its doors. Most sent out tweets stating how sad they were to see the company go, but thats not how the citizens of Williamston feel. 

“I was not a big Toys R Us person,” said Perrine. “I have only been in Toys R Us maybe once or twice, and it was as an adult buying something for someone else.”

The closest Toys R Us for Williamston citizens to shop at was located near the Meridian Mall in Okemos, which is about seven miles from downtown Williamston.

When available, Perrine is buying more and more items online because of how convenient it is.

“I’ll admit it, if I can buy it on Amazon instead of going out and buying it in a store I will absolutely do it online,” said Perrine.

And even for some customers who were willing to drive to Okemos to see what mascot Geoffrey the giraffe had to offer, they left empty handed.

“Their toys were way more expensive,” said Jennifer Laughter, a Dollar Times employee. “I went there last year to get my daughter a doll for Christmas and it was a lot cheaper at Walmart.”

There were multiple reasons that led to Toys R Us having to shut down its doors, and this has many customers thinking about the future of other conventional stores.

“I think the brick and mortar stores are feeling the pain of this because people are not going out and buying things,” Perrine said. “So, we’ll see which companies learn to adapt and the stores that can’t will probably have the same fate as Toys R Us.”