Toys R Us en­ters its fi­nal days

Big mark­downs, but many items are gone.

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Kelly Tyko

JENSEN BEACH, Fla. – Toys R Us stores are en­ter­ing their fi­nal days and ramp­ing up the deals.

The iconic toy re­tailer an­nounced a new round of mark­downs this week with dis­counts now rang­ing from 50 to

70 per­cent with “lim­ited ex­cep­tions,” ac­cord­ing to a Face­book post. They come about three months after the chain, a sec­ond home to gen­er­a­tions of toy-crav­ing chil­dren, an­nounced it would liq­ui­date.

Some of the most val­ued, in-de­mand mer­chan­dise, such as Nin­tendo and PlayS­ta­tion video game sys­tems, was snapped up weeks ago. But kids who ap­pre­ci­ate mer­chan­dise such as Lego sets, board games, Bar­bie dolls, “Star Wars” toys, Nerf guns and more can still come away winners.

Prices on most Toys R Us items now hand­ily beat dis­count com­peti­tors such as Ama­zon, Wal­mart and Tar­get and ri­val Black Fri­day door­buster deals.

“The prices are get­ting good,” said Rita Has­sel­bach, of Port St. Lu­cie, Florida, who vis­ited the Toys R Us in Jensen Beach. “I’m look­ing for games that I can do­nate to char­i­ties and shel­ters.”

Brothers Fabio and Ale­jan­dro Beni­chio, also of Port St. Lu­cie, have been com­ing to the Jensen Beach store twice a week for the last five weeks look­ing for birth­day and Christ­mas gifts.

On Mon­day night, they filled a cart with Bar­bie dolls and ac­tion fig­ures marked down 50 per­cent, a large Lego set at 40 per­cent and Doc­tor Dread­ful Snot Shot toys at 60 per­cent off. The 14 items came to $137.15, a sav­ings of

$126.46 off reg­u­lar prices.

For the Jensen Beach store, on Florida’s east coast some 100 miles north of Mi­ami, June 28 is slated to be the last day be­fore the doors close for­ever, said An­drew Wig­gins, a su­per­vi­sor at the store who has been with the com­pany for more than five years.

As in­ven­tory sells out, por­tions of stores and empty aisles are be­ing closed off with yel­low cau­tion tape and other bar­ri­ers and mer­chan­dise is be­ing moved to the front.

“The store clo­sure’s tim­ing and dis­counts will vary, as it de­pends on how quickly each lo­ca­tion sells out of in­ven­tory,” Toys R Us spokes­woman Amy von Wal­ter said. “I don’t have tim­ing on mark­downs as the liq­uida­tors are lead­ing this process, but I’d guess that would vary as well.”

Some stores have closed ear­lier than ex­pected, in­clud­ing the Para­mus, New Jersey, store in the city where the chain’s head­quar­ters was sit­u­ated for years be­fore be­ing moved to nearby Wayne.

Ded­i­cated shop­pers

Can­dido Her­rera, of Port St. Lu­cie, has been com­ing to the Jensen Beach store weekly since the liq­ui­da­tion started in March. Most trips he said he leaves empty-handed.

“I come every week to see if it’s lower and it’s still the same, 30, 40, 50 per­cent,” Her­rera said. “And it’s al­most over.”

“Their prices were al­ready too high com­pared to Wal­mart and any other stores so when they take off 40 per­cent, it’s re­ally 20 per­cent,” Her­rera said last week. “It’s al­most like they’re trick­ing us, but since we’re al­ready here they fig­ure we’re go­ing to take some­thing.”

Her­rera said he is look­ing to stock up on gifts for his nieces and neph­ews and “try­ing to get ahead” on hol­i­day and birthdays gifts.

“But when you com­pare some of these prices, I’m only get­ting ahead by 20 per­cent,” Her­rera said. “This is why they are go­ing out of busi­ness. We stopped com­ing, and a lot of peo­ple did the same.”

Some shop­pers say ded­i­ca­tion pays off.

“We’re pretty much done – at least for this week,” Ale­jan­dro Beni­chio said.

The brothers be­came pros when the nearby Ba­bies R Us closed ear­lier this year as part of the first wave of clos­ings.

“We had three carts full for what we spent to­day,” Fabio Beni­chio said of shop­ping dur­ing the fi­nal days.

“At the end, Ba­bies R Us was worth it.”



Toys R Us prices are marked down 50 to 70 per­cent, “with lim­ited ex­cep­tions.”

Toys R Us in­ven­tory, dis­counts and clos­ing dates can vary by lo­ca­tion.

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