Santa Ana Toys R Us store won’t be shut down after all
A Toys R Us store in Santa Ana that was slated to shut as part of the toy retailer’s recent decision to close up to 182 stores nationwide will remain open after all, the retailer said.
The Wayne, N.J., company had noted in a filing last week that conversations and negotiations about the store closures were ongoing with landlords. As a result of those talks, the Santa Ana store was removed from the closure list, a company spokesperson said Tuesday.
That reduces the total number of Toys R Us and Babies R Us store closures in California to 26. In Southern California, 13 stores will be closed.
Store-closing sales are expected to begin in early February, with the majority of closures to happen in mid-April.
“The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company that will provide the level of service and experience you should expect from a market leader,” Dave Brandon, Toys R Us’ chief executive, said in a blog post last week.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.
Although its numbers have been shrinking, Toys R Us still sells about 20% of the toys bought in the U.S., according to Stephanie Wissink, an analyst at Jefferies.
Competitive pressures will force the company to take a close look at all of its stores, and it probably will shut more in the next year or two, Wissink said.
Analysts have said that to compete with big-box chains such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. and with e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. — which offer a wide selection at lower prices — Toys R Us needs to improve its store experience and its website, and that it must hire well-trained employees who are knowledgeable about the products.
Brandon said in the blog post that the company recently relaunched its price-match program and would take “additional steps to ensure that we provide greater overall value” through promotions, an improved loyalty program and more personalized modes of customer communication.
Toys R Us said it also plans to convert about a dozen locations into co-branded Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.
The company’s struggles have rippled outward, hurting its suppliers. Rumors continue to swirl around the possibility of a merger between Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc., the nation’s largest toy makers. Wissink estimated that Toys R Us accounts for about 11% of Mattel’s annual sales and about 9% of Hasbro’s.
Toys R Us operates 881 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores nationwide, including in Puerto Rico and Guam.
The Los Angeles County stores that are slated to be closed are:
- City of Industry: 1600 S. Azusa Ave.
- Santa Clarita: 26573 Carl Boyer Drive
- Torrance: 20120 Hawthorne Blvd.
- West Covina: 960 Lakes Drive
The other Southern California stores slated for closure are:
- Brea: 2575 E. Imperial Highway
- Brentwood: 5461 Lone Tree Way
- Corona: 3665 Grand Oaks
- Emeryville: 3938 Horton St.
- Fairfield: 1400 Gateway Blvd.
- Folsom: 2785 E. Bidwell St.
- Fresno: 3520 W. Shaw Ave.
- Indio: 42500 Jackson St.
- Pinole: 1330 Fitzgerald Drive
- Pittsburg: 4505 Century Blvd.
- Riverside: 2550 Canyon Springs Parkway S.
- San Diego: 8181 Mira Mesa Blvd. and 1240 W. Morena Blvd.
- San Jose: 2179 Monterey Hwy. and 865 Blossom Hill Road
- San Rafael: 600 Francisco Blvd.
- Simi Valley: 1189 Simi Town Center Way
- Stockton: 10640 Trinity Parkway
- Union City: 31250 Courthouse Drive
- Vista: 1990 University Drive
- Westminster: 530 Westminster Mall
- Yuba City: 700 A Onstott Road
The Associated Press was used in compiling this report.
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