The founder of Toys R Us, Charles Lazarus, has died at the age of 94 just as his toy empire is facing bankruptcy.
The toy titan founded the company in 1957, building the first supermarket solely for toys.
The American entrepreneur served in World War II as a cryptologist, and when he returned to Washington DC he followed in his father’s footsteps and opened a ‘small business’.
The time was right and he noticed a growing demand for toys just as the baby boom hit, so he filled the gap in the market with the revolutionary Toys R Us.
This year, after decades of success, his toy empire has fallen into liquidation and its company-wide closing down sale began across the nation’s stores yesterday, as shoppers mourn the great loss.
The toy store tweeted a tribute to their late boss:
There have been many sad moments for Toys R Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus.
He visited us in New Jersey just last year and we will forever be grateful for his positive energy, passion for the customer and love for children everywhere.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ family and loved ones.
There have been many sad moments for Toys"R"Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today's news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles' family and loved ones.
— ToysRUs (@ToysRUs) March 22, 2018
Barbie and Action Man will mourn, Lego Deathstars will go unbuilt, the Furbies will cry out for a new home and Care Bears will give up caring.
If you’re into the humanisation of inanimate objects, that is.
Simon Thomas, joint administrator and partner at Moorfields Advisory Limited, told MEN:
We’ve introduced heavy discounts across the entire Toys R Us store portfolio today.
Customers are encouraged to take advantage of these special offers as soon as possible, whilst stock levels are generally high.
Customers may find that the more popular brands begin to sell-out over the coming days.
Joseph Malfitano, one of the Toys R Us bankruptcy advisors who works for liquidation specialists Malfitano Partners, called this unprecedented sale ‘probably the largest retail liquidation in the country’s history’.
Toys R Us executives hoped to avoid this measure when they filed for bankruptcy, arguing for a Chapter 7 ruling rather than having to liquidate its assets if they filed for Chapter 11.
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