Toys R Us CEO Dave Brandon — along with other members of the leadership team and the majority of employees—are leaving the company. A company spokesperson confirmed to Retail Dive that Brandon and the executives "fulfilled their professional and fiduciary responsibilities to the company.”
"Several hundred employees will remain on to assist with the wind-down, which is standard practice for a liquidation process," the spokesperson added.
In addition, the roughly 30,000 Toys R Us employees who lost their jobs due to the retailer's liquidation are requesting that the company pay its workers severance, using the proceeds from fees and other payments made to its private equity owners. A petition by a California Toys R Us employee already had nearly 54,000 signatures on Monday (May 14).
Eduardo Pena, a former director of real estate for Toys R Us new stores, also started a Facebook group for former employees called "Dead Giraffe Society," which is meant to be a "tribute to the folks of the past." The company's liquidation, he said, "doesn't take away the fact that we had a good experience."
However, there is hope for some stores in the U.S. Last month, Toys R Us agreed to sell its Canadian business — which consists of 82 stores — to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for around $234 million in a bankruptcy court hearing. Those stores might retain the Toys R Us name.
In three European countries, however, the stores will be rebranded to fall under the Smyths Toys banner. The Irish retailer agreed to purchase 93 of the retailer’s stores — as well as its eCommerce websites — in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
As for Fairfax, company President Paul Rivett says plans for the toy store chain are not limited to Canada, as it is exploring options to keep a foothold in the U.S. and elsewhere.
“There’s pieces now we can invest in — pods of stores in the U.S. or elsewhere — and utilize the fact that they’ve got all the systems in Canada," Rivett said.