That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

January 20, 2006

The Real Risk? The Celing Caving In

Filed under: dead stores — Anita @ 4:11 am

I wrote Joy Buchanan over at The Daily Press (Hampton Roads’ newspaper) early last week about the the Toys R Us in Hampton, VA closing, and an article was finally written about it Tuesday:

http://www.dailypress.com/business/local/dp-56062sy0jan17,0,1898130.story?coll=dp-business-localheads

Toys ‘R’ Us closing Hampton store, 74 others

The local location will end its sale Saturday and close its doors in early February.

BY JOY BUCHANAN
247-4744

January 17 2006

HAMPTON — The Toys “R” Us store on Mercury Boulevard will end its liquidation sale Saturday and the store will close in February.

The location is one of 75 Toys “R” Us stores in the United States that will close permanently, while 12 other locations will convert to Babies “R” Us stores, according to an SEC filing dated Jan. 9.

The company, which became private last year, said the closings were the result of a comprehensive review and evaluation of the American stores over the past few months. But the company identified “principal challenges and risks” to the company as increased competition from discount retailers Wal-Mart and Target, declining video game sales in the stores and increased competition with specialty retailers such as Electronics Boutique and Gamestop.

The employees at the Hampton location were notified in December that the store would close, but the company didn’t announce the closings until last week. The Hampton store began its sale after Christmas.

The four other Hampton Roads locations – Newport News, Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach – will remain open. The Hampton store’s 29 employees are moving to other locations, including the Newport News store on Jefferson Avenue, or receiving severance packages, said Kathleen Waugh, a company spokeswoman.

A yellow banner announcing the sale hangs over the Hampton store’s logo on the front of the building. Many of the windows are taped over with signs announcing markdowns of up to 70 percent. By Monday, the remaining inventory had been put in the front of the store, leaving the aisles and shelves in the rear empty and blocked by yellow caution tape.

A recorded message blared over the intercom system, announcing that the fixtures were on sale. Bikes, stuffed animals, candy, videos and electronics, including video game console accessories, were marked down 50 percent or more. Signs also warned shoppers that the store no longer honors coupons or promotional ads because of the large discounts.

The liquidation will cost the company about $155 million, including $45 million lost to inventory markdowns and fees, according to the filing. The closures are also expected to eliminate 3,000 jobs nationwide.

Copyright © 2006, Daily Press

—-

I wonder why the sale is ending Saturday, but the actual store isn’t closing until February. I guess because of the fixture sale. Too bad all they are really selling is cash registers and shelves. I want a shopping cart or the aforementioned doormat.

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