Toys ‘R’ Us store lease auctions leave vacancies

By RetailFOXBusiness

Toys ‘R’ Us failed to evolve digitally, retail expert says

Toys ‘R’ Us is closing its remaining 740 stores in the U.S. and eliminating an estimated 30,000 jobs. Mary Epner of Mary Epner Retail Analysis discusses the demise of the 70-year-old retailer.

Toys "R" Us landlords are not exactly overwhelmed by demand for some of the locations the liquidating chain is preparing to abandon.

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Of 140 store leases that hit the auction block last week, just 50 received winning bids, the New York Post reported. Thirty of them were from the landlords themselves, some of whom scooped up their own properties for $5,000 to $10,000.

Up next is an auction round involving 700 Toys "R" Us stores.

A Toys "R" Us landlord in West Hartford, Connecticut, got its store back for as little as $4,978, the Post reported, citing court papers. The toy chain drew just over $37 million in the auction.

Some of the stores did fetch impressive amounts.

Furniture store chain Raymour & Flanigan agreed to pay $1.3 million to take over a Toys "R" Us store in Paramus, New Jersey. And the sale of a property in Emeryville, California, that is owned by Toys "R" Us attracted a bid of $15.6 million from Benderson, a real estate development firm.

“Each store is different; each landlord is different,” bankruptcy attorney David Pollack of Ballard Spahr, who represents 15 Toys ‘R’ Us landlords, told FOX Business. "You have to look at each individual property. I think Toys "R" Us was relatively happy with auction."

The toy chain hadn’t returned a request for comment from FOX Business at the time of publication.

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