All hopes of saving Australia's biggest stand-alone toy store chain are officially lost. Each of the 44 stores, head office and the distribution centre will close doors in a matter of weeks, and sadly hundreds of jobs will be lost.
Toys R Us Australia has been in the hands of administrators since May this year, but despite all efforts being made to sell the flailing store, a positive outcome could not be found. The subsidiary Babies R Us will also close.
It's hard not to feel sentimental about the loss of such an iconic store, particularly given that the current retail climate suggests we may not see another physical toy store of this size any time soon.
Here are some answers to the questions we're all asking:
What does this mean for customers?
Toys R Us stores will begin closing within coming weeks, and liquidation will commence immediately. If there is something you've had your eye on - get over there STAT!
Can I still shop in-store?
Yes! Online orders have ceased, but you can now shop the liquidation sale in store NOW!
In-store Offers Include:
- 40% off party supplies
- 30% off infant clothing & plush toys
- 20% off remote-control vehicles
- 15% off action figures
Can I still order toys online?
No. Online ordering ended on Thursday 21st June. If you have online orders already in the system, they will be honoured provided they are paid in full and stock is on hand.
Can I still use gift cards?
Yes, customers can utilise gift cards in any Toys R Us store until 5th July. There's a catch, though: you must spend the equivalent value of the card in cash. So, if you have a $100 gift card, you will need to spend $100 in cash to be able to redeem it.
Gift card holders become "unsecured creditors" once the administration process begins. To avoid any preference given to any group of creditors, Toys R Us requests an additional spend for the redemption of gift cards.
You cannot redeem gift cards online.
Can I still use Afterpay?
Online orders ended on Thursday 21st June, so you cannot create new orders. If you have existing orders in the system for which you used Afterpay, they will be honoured if stock is on hand. (Afterpay pays for your goods in full on your behalf at the time of ordering.)
Can I still return items for a refund?
No, refunds are not being processed at this time, however you can exchange items at any store for products of equal or lesser value.
Do VIP discounts still apply?
The VIP Program has ended, but you can shop the 30% OFF STOREWIDE liquidation sale in-store.
Will lay-bys still be honoured?
Only until 5th July, provided stock is on hand. You will need to have paid lay-bys in full by that date.
When will stores start to close?
Within coming weeks. Given the 5th July cut-off for gift cards and lay-by, we suspect stores will close shortly after that date.
Why has this happened?
In the US and other countries, online giants like Amazon and discount department stores like Kmart had a lot do to with the inevitable demise of Toys R Us, and we're seeing very similar problems here in Australia.
Stores like Kmart, Target and Big W are hard to compete with on price, and now that Amazon Australia is very much a player on our retail scene, the competition will likely only increase.
What will happen to the Toys R Us buildings?
Toys R Us stores are refereed to as "big footprint stores" - they're huge! As such, it's been suggested they will make good locations for stores of similar size, such as Spotlight, or TJ Maxx.
How do you feel about the end of Toys R Us in Australia? Give us your thoughts below.