UPDATE : The Rockford Toys “R” Us store posted the following sign outside their door on Thursday:
“Customers: We understand there may have been reports of our liquidation sale starting today. We apologize for any confusion the media may have conveyed on our liquidation sale start date, however, we do not have confirmation as to when the liquidation sale will begin. Please check back with us for further updates.”
The iconic toy giant announced last week that it will shut or sell all of its 735 US stores, and the company said it expects the sales to start Thursday.
Shoppers looking to snag a bargain should act fast.
“It will be quick,” said Chuck Tatelbaum, a director with Tripp Scott, a Florida law firm, on how quickly the shelves will empty. “No more than 60 days, closer to 30 days.”
The more popular and favorite toys tend to move the fastest, and inventory is likely already slim.
“The [stores] haven’t gotten a lot of new inventory in the last month or two, so a lot of the popular things have probably already sold out,” said Tatelbaum.
Consumers with Toys “R” Us gift cards and Endless Earnings e-gift cards should also hurry. The retailer will honor these forms of payment until April 20. It will not accept coupons or other rewards starting Thursday.
Stores will accept returns on products purchased before the liquidation for the next 30 days. All purchases made during the store closing process are final sale, which means they cannot be returned or exchanged.
Consumers planning on going to the store for one last walk up and down the aisles to reminisce could face a different reality.
“People will go for one last time, but I am not sure it will translate into buying,” said Tatelbaum. “I think you are going to find a general malaise — not happy and joyful employees … this is going to be almost like a wake.”
The company has been posting job openings recently for temporary positions to help during the liquidation process.
But the store closings mean that around 31,000 employees will ultimately be laid off.