That is sad news. We have one here and although I don't shop there much throughout the year we usually end up there around Christmas time. In fact this last November we were shopping there and quite honestly I was surprised at how much they offered. Maybe it was because it was Christmas time, I don't know but I will just say it didn't look like they were having troubles. They were packed to the gills.I figured the store would be showing it's stress from the business taken away from Amazon but at that time there were no signs. Maybe a last hurrah this last Christmas. I can remember as a kid though how magical it was going into a store filled with nothing but toys!
The Toys R Us near me closed some years ago. I shopped there for kids in the family over the years, and I could see it slowly slip away, from a sort of retail Disneyland of the latest toys in vast variety, to a less-well staffed and stocked store, to an annoying sort of flea market of toys with not much staff other than check-out, if you could locate them. As the old joke goes about Sears stores, it was a good place to go if you wanted to be alone.
Shopping there is much like shopping at IKEA. Everything is overpriced and is sure to break, but no matter what age one can't help but find some charm in the walk through.
Toys are dead in this digital age. Toys required some imagination, pretend. Those days I think are gone, but what do I know. I'm a tired old coot.
Another sad casualty of the internet. In fifty years, probably no schools, hard copy books, movie theaters, libraries or book stores. People will say there were no "good old days", but it seems mine are vanishing before my eyes due to tech. I've never even owned a computer.
Interesting angle about the possibility of all that vacant commercial space. Strikes me as similar to what happened when all the Targets pulled out of Canada. There were tons of them and most are still empty. Only now have the two sites in my town been redeveloped.
In my small piece of the world, we have lost our Sears, JC Penney, Target, K-Mart and now Toys R US. Most of them fell victim to on-line retailers or because of over-saturation of the market. Our Target closed but the Target 20 miles from us saw an increase in business for example.
Chicagoans of mature age remember Goldblatt's, the lower end department story a few blocks south on State Street from the tony Marshall Fields (now a Macy's) and Carson Pierre Scott. I think Goldblatt's disappeared when K-Mart first opened in the suburbs, probably in the late fifties or early sixties. Brick and mortar retail was seriously overbuilt even before online retail came on full force. Empty store-fronts in strip malls abound. Also office space. I've seen office complexes new-built stand empty for years and years, a tax write-off for someone, I guess. When I was in college, I'd pick up a shirt or pair of chinos at Goldblatt's now and then, on a student budget.