Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

At Toys R Us, Customers Seek Deals and Closure All Stores to Close by Week's End, Months after Filing for Bankruptcy

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

At Toys R Us, Customers Seek Deals and Closure All Stores to Close by Week's End, Months after Filing for Bankruptcy

Article excerpt

Longtime shoppers and deal hunters picked through the last of what the Toys R Us in Bethel Park had to offer on Wednesday as the store prepared to close its doors.

For some, there were a lot of memories fading away behind the rows of yellow caution tape.

"It was pretty devastating because I grew up with it as a child," said Jon Novak as he stood in one of the few aisles still open to shoppers in the cavernous and mostly empty store.

Mr. Novak, who lives in Downtown, frequently shopped at the chain to buy toys for his four nieces and nephews. He'll have to take his business elsewhere, as all 735 Toys R Us stores across the country are set to close by the end of this week.

In March, the deeply in-debt company based out of Wayne, N.J., announced it was shutting its U.S. stores, months after filing for bankruptcy. The company, which is over 60 years old, has 11 stores in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Monroeville store closed down shop Tuesday after selling out of its inventory.

In Bethel Park on Wednesday, shoppers could buy picked-over toys and baby clothes for 80 to 90 percent off. A wall of fidget spinners, originally priced at $9.99, were going for just 69 cents, and a seven-piece crib set, originally $199.99, was discounted to $39.99.

Those looking for furniture or fixtures were in luck: a large store shelf was up for grabs for a discounted $192.

The store was buzzing Wednesday morning as shoppers perused its final offerings while cheery music, including a Taylor Swift song and "If You're Happy and You Know It," blared from loudspeakers.

Mr. Novak said walking into the cleared-out store - with signs declaring "Everything must go!" and price tags on everything including the empty white shelves - felt symbolic.

"It's almost like a part of my childhood is kind of destroyed," he said.

With nieces and nephews as young as 4, Mr. Novak has many years of toy buying ahead of him. …

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