HOUSTON - Customers and employees knew for months this day would come, but it’s an entirely different story when you see the empty shelves in person.
After being in business for 70 years, Friday was Closing Day for toy store chain, Toys "R" Us.
It was the last hoorah down the aisles for customers and employees. As one store manager told KHOU 11, “it’s a bummer.”
At the store near the Astrodome – store shelves are empty but don’t worry, "You wanna buy shelving from here? Yes, shelving, put it up in the garage. They said they were getting rid of it, as well.” said Nabeel Sami.
That’s right – everything is for sale! The store's Restroom sign – you can have it. The cash registers – well, those are already sold.
And it’s credit card only to buy what's left in the store.
The toy giant filed for bankruptcy back in the fall and announced liquidation sales shortly after.
“We took a lot of debt in 2007. We couldn’t get out of it. And the advent of Amazon just kind of killed it.” said Craig Davis, an Assistant Manager.
For Maria Lopez, Toys-R-Us represents her childhood. “I wanna cry, but I’m trying to stay strong for the kids.” said Lopez.
Annie Valdez was also at the store in West Houston on Friday and said she is sad because she too grew up with Toys-R-Us.
She snatched up what she could for her grandson.
“I saved a lot. These are $199. I got it for 40 bucks.” she said.
Iris Robles left empty-handed – except for a picture – and her memories.
“Unfortunately, my parents, we didn’t have enough money to shop here at Toys-R-Us, but I remember looking through the catalogs every Christmas.” said Robles.
One store is hoping to capitalize on Toys-R-Us' closing: Party City.
The company is planning to open about 50 “Toy City” pop-up stores to fill the void.