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Toy company CEO leads an effort to salvage Toys 'R' Us


Basic Fun! is planning for life in the USA without Toys "R" Us.

Isaac Larian says he and two other unidentified investors are pledging $200 million to try to save about 400 of the remaining 735 U.S. stores that are slated to close.

If as many as 400 stores can be saved, it is Larian's hope that a third of the 130,000 jobs he sees as lost could be rescued. So far it has raised about $5,000. She said her kids "like to just come and look around even if I don't buy anything. This needs to be saved for the next generation".

"It was quite sad, actually", Sparks said of learning Toy "R" Us was entering bankruptcy and closing its stores.

Charles Lazarus' net worth is estimated to be more than $100 million.

Employees inside the store Thursday referred questions to the corporate office, which said in an email that liquidation sales were likely to start Friday.

"During my life as an entrepreneur, I was often told something couldn't be done, that no doll could challenge Barbie".

"We weren't given much of a heads-up", Sankuer said. Toy´s "R" Us was acquired by investment funds KKR and Bain Capital with real estate company Vornado in 2005. Toys R Us owes $7.9 billion to more than 100,000 creditors, including


Since Lazarus stepped down as chief executive officer in 1994 and chairman four years later, the company has faced new competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. and from the rise of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which overtook it in US toy sales in 1998.

Consumers with Toys "R" Us gift cards and Endless Earnings e-gift cards should also hurry. A weak holiday season hastened the retailer's demise.

In a statement, CEO Dave Brandon called the formal liquidation "a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years".

"We have not started liquidation sales yet", the 5555 Whittlesey Blvd. location informed customers Thursday on two signs taped to its front sliding doors.

Sankuer said the Florence location should have plenty of inventory for quite some time, but has no clue when the official closing date will be or what kind of products will be offered during the liquidation. "You don't have to go searching for it online".

The iconic toy giant announced last week that it will shut or sell all of its 735, including the six in Louisiana, stores.

"$1 billion may seem like a staggering goal, but it would take a very large sum to create a successful bid for the acquisition of such a large entity", Larian says on the site.

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