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11 Tampa Bay Toys 'R' Us stores among 735 to close

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Eleven Tampa Bay area Toys "R" Us stores are among the 735 stores that the struggling retailer plans to close across the U.S.

Toys "R" Us was unable to find a buyer for the company or reach a deal in bankruptcy proceedings with lenders.

The company operates 11 stores in the Tampa Bay area under the Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us brand names. 

Toys "R" Us opened its first store in June 1957. It now operates 735 stores across the U.S., including Puerto Rico.

"It's unfortunate but there is just costs that go with being a brick and mortar store and that is just the way the world is turning," said Tampa mom and shopper Kate Thomas. 

The store will begin liquidating inventory over the next two months. There is no indication yet of any sales. The company indicated it is still looking to possibly sell off some U.S. locations in connection with its business in Canada.

Toy industry financial analysts say one of the biggest impacts of Toys "R" Us closing could be on toy innovation

The chain invested in newer, up-and-coming toys, acting as a proving ground for toys before they expand to the larger market toys like L.O.L. Surprise.

"I think for my daughter and also my baby to be being able to physically be able to touch the toys and see them and just see her eyes when she sees them all, we don't get that same experience online," said Thomas.

Thomas's daughter Elianna couldn't agree more. "Because that's the best part!" Elianna added.

Here's a list of Toys "R" Us locations in the Tampa Bay area:
 

1) Babies "R" Us

3908 W. Hillsborough Ave.

Tampa

 

2) Toys "R" Us

12845 Citrus Plaza Dr.

Tampa

 

3) Toys "R" Us

330 Brandon Town Center Dr.

Brandon

 

4) Babies "R" Us

21315 U.S. 19 North

Clearwater

 

5) Toys "R" Us

26286 U.S. 19 North

Clearwater

 

6) Toys "R" Us

1900 Tyrone Blvd.

St. Petersburg

 

7) Toys "R" Us

2398 Grand Cypress Dr.

Tampa Premium Outlets

Lutz

 

8) Toys "R" Us/Babies "R" Us

6105 Wesley Grove Blvd.

Wesley Chapel

 

9) Toys "R" Us

6233 Tacoma Drive

Port Richey

 

10) Toys "R" Us

512 Cortez Rd. West

Bradenton

 

11) Toys "R" Us

3770 U.S. Hwy 98 North

Lakeland


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