For Toys ‘R’ Us And Apparel Retailers, Playtime Is Over, But In Other Categories, The Fun Continues

by MR Magazine Staff

The announcement last month that Toys “R” Us is liquidating all remaining U.S. stores – followed up by this week’s report that it has rejected an $890 million bid “to save Toys ‘R’ Us,” as billionaire toy manufacturer Isaac Larian put it – may be widely seen as yet another nail in the coffin of brick-and-mortar retail. Larian, the CEO of MGA Entertainment, which makes the Bratz dolls, was behind the bid for the chain’s Canadian operations and 274 U.S. stores. Yet the retail market is not monolithic. While Toys “R” Us is far from the only chain affected by the troubles afflicting retail, some retailers are actually expanding their physical footprint, cushioning the impact of closures on the retail industry as well as on the retail segment of commercial real estate. Indeed, a report last year by retail research and advisory firm IHL Group indicated that, for each company closing stores, 2.7 are opening stores and that core retail segments would see a net gain of 1,326 stores in 2017. Even if the news is not all bad, though, retail does continue to be buffeted by an uncertainty that affects not just the retailers themselves but also customers, store employees, the commercial real estate industry and potentially the entire local economy, especially if unemployment becomes a concern. Read more at Forbes.