Everyone has likely heard at this point that the retailer Toys “R” Us will soon be no more.
It was once unthinkable that Toys “R” Us would ever go away. After all, it was successful for decades. Many thought that it would be around forever.
The Simpsons managed to predict Toys “R” Us would close way back in January of 2004. As we’ve reported, the hit animated series has a pretty impressive ability to predict events that would have been unthinkable once upon a time. For example, the show somehow managed to predict the Presidency of Donald J. Trump back in the year 2000—sixteen years before he was elected the United States’ 45th President.
Fans of the show made it known via Twitter that The Simpsons predicted the demise of the toy retailer.
The alleged prediction occurred in the episode Marge vs Singles, Seniors, Childless Couples and Teens, and Gays. During this episode, a group of adults—all of whom were childless—decided to attempt to destroy everything child-friendly in Springfield, the setting of the hit show. The group ends up burning signs that say “children at play”, damages ball pits, and defaces a Toys “R” Us by turning the store’s backwards “R” the right way. The children are outside the retail store in tears.
Technically, the episode did not mention the financial crisis the toy retailer has faced in recent months; certain fans of the show, however, take the episode as proof that writers of The Simpsons can truly predict the future.
As mentioned, the episode being discussed initially aired in 2004, which is 14 years before the toy retailer announced its liquidation. In a bankruptcy filing, the company stated last week that it would be closing all of its remaining 700 United States-based stores. Over 140 began the process of liquidation last month.
On March 22, a sale at the retailer in the United Kingdom started; a lot of big brand merchandise and also Babies “R” Us products are on sale—discounts are up to 25 percent—but the sale is just proof that Toys “R” Us really may be gone for good.
The loss of Toys “R” Us will cost thousands of United Kingdom residents their jobs. It is one of the larger toy retailers in the UK.
Making matters worse is the fact that the founder of Toys “R” Us—Charles P. Lazarus—has died. The entrepreneur was 94 years old. He passed on the 22nd of March. He started the Toys “R” Us so many knew and loved back in 1957.
Prior to that, he served in World War II as a cryptologist and then opened a furniture store for children in the United States. That store opened in 1948. He noticed there was a desire for toys, so his plans changed. He was obviously very successful.
A spokesperson for Toys “R” Us spoke about Lazarus’ death, saying that the death is the saddest of all of the sad moments the retailer has had to endure in the past weeks, adding that the retailer is grateful for Lazarus’ passion—as well as his positive energy.
There have been many sad moments for Toys"R"Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today's news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles' family and loved ones.
— ToysRUs (@ToysRUs) March 22, 2018
Unless things manage to change, all stores worldwide will also be sold off sooner or later.
Lazarus died roughly a week after the liquidation of the company he founded was announced.
According to a retail analysist in the United Kingdom, the reason that Toys “R” Us has failed is that the company simply can’t compete with internet retailers—such as Amazon—due to the costs associated with their large stores. The ways in which customers shop are also changing.
Interestingly enough, there has been talk that Amazon may end up buying some of the Toys “R” Us stores in an attempt to increase the company’s retail footprint.
There actually is a possibility that Toys “R” Us could be saved in the United States—and perhaps in other parts of the world.
According to various media reports, the CEO of MGA Entertainment—Issac Larian—thinks he might be able to save the Toys “R” Us brand; he is not frightened by its recent losses. Larian and other investors have already launched a GoFundMe page, hoping to raise money in order to purchase the company’s United States assets. They would like to raise one billion dollars by Memorial Day of this year.