Toys R Us in Schaumburg and Vernon Hills Among 180 Stores Closing

Toys R Us stores in Schaumburg and Vernon Hills are expected to close sometime over the next couple months, according to Toys R Us, based in Wayne, New Jersey.

The Schaumburg and Vernon Hills stores nearby are among seven in Illinois that are closing. Illinois stores in Highland Park, Matteson, Bricktown and Burbank are also scheduled to close, as the retailer closes 20 percent of its U.S. stores — 180 of about 800 locations.

The store closings will begin in February 2018 and the majority of the targeted locations will go dark by mid-April. At some other locations, the retailer is combining its Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.

Toys R Us closed its flagship store in Manhattan’s Times Square, a huge tourist destination, about two years ago.

Closure of the Arlington Heights store at 40 West Rand Road was announced on January 9, 2006.

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Toys R Us once dominated toy sales in the U.S. but filed for bankruptcy protection September 18 2017 with $5 billion in debt.

Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon said in a letter Wednesday that tough decisions are required to save Toys R Us, and admitted that the company made some missteps during the critical holiday shopping season.

“As the leader of this company, I want you to know that we can and will address the gaps in the experience that you may have had when shopping this holiday,” Brandon said. “My team is already hard at work to make the improvements necessary to ensure that we have the products you want, when, where and how you want them.”

Toys R Us, based in Wayne, New Jersey, has struggled with debt since private-equity firms Bain Capital, KKR & Co. and Vornado Realty Trust took it private in a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout in 2005.

At its peak, Toys “R” Us was considered a classic example of a category killer, a business that specializes so thoroughly and efficiently in one sector that it pushes out competition from both smaller specialty stores and larger general retailers. Since the rise of mass merchants like Walmart, Target and Amazon, however, Toys “R” Us has lost much of its share of the toy market, and fell behind Walmart in toy sales for 1998.

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