Toys R' Us Store Closings Bring Feelings of Nostalgia to Quinnipiac Students
By Joe DeRosa
Toys R Us is closing its doors nationwide. While local students are disappointed about losing the experience taking a trip to the toy store, they understand the change in today’s toy culture has contributed to the close.
"I think it's kind of sad," said Pat Pitts, a junior journalism major at Quinnipiac. "Everything they [kids today] want is on electronics or something like that, so they don't have that toy experience that you and I had growing up."
In its long history, Toys R Us has emerged as an important part of the childhoods of Quinnipiac students. Ben Kuru, a freshman marketing major at Quinnipiac even had a specific memorable experience.
"My favorite thing there was a bike that I got to ride around there a little bit," said Kuru. "The workers there were really friendly and it's unfortunate that the place is closing down."
Over the past year, Toys R Us has faced a series of financial miscues that have led to the company's downfall.
On September 18th the company declared bankruptcy after being over $5 billion dollars in debt. Four months later the company announced that it would be closing over 100 stores across the country.
By March Toys R Us announced its liquidation, leading to the closure of over 700 nationwide locations.
While debt is arguably the biggest contributor to the company's demise, some saw different reasons for Toys R Us's decline.
"I noticed that their video game section wasn't that drastic," said Shannon Marmot, a junior public relations major at Quinnipiac. "They tried to base it more on board games and I feel like that was a huge downside to them."
Others saw issues with the pricing of the items in the store.
Kuru said he thought prices at Toys R Us were “a little bit out there,” but it’s not the only reason he thought the toy store failed.
"Kids are more into technology than they are into physical toys nowadays," said Kuru.
Lori Hershman, an employee at Evan’s Toy Shoppe in Hamden, Connecticut, had similar feelings on children’s shift towards technology.
“I see in restaurants that they’re playing with iPads instead of coloring books,” said Hershman. “In cars, they’re watching movies or playing games instead of looking out the window.”
Amy Cavallo, a sophomore finance major at Quinnipiac, said there could have been a way to save the store.
"If debt was truly the issue...I think at that point you really need to refocus your business practice on repaying," said Cavallo. "You could've invested that [money] into repaying your loans."
With the end of the Toys R Us in sight, Hershman is concerned that the absence of the company could have a negative effect on children.
“If there isn’t a toy store and they couldn’t get what they want, that would be detrimental. It’s important for kids to have that experience of saving their pennies and getting that toy they’ve wanted,” said Hershman.
Toys R Us has commenced liquidation sales in all of it's nationwide locations. The company is anticipated to run out of money by May.