Toys R Us Founder Dies As His Empire Comes To A Close

Charles Lazarus, the 94 -year-old founder of Toys R Us, died Thursday, about a few weeks after the company announced it would file liquidation papers and likely close all of its U.S. functionings. Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in September.

In a tweet, the company announced Lazarus’ death, saying there had been “many sad moments” lately but none more upsetting than the death of its founder.

Lazarus founded Toys R Us in June 1957, nine years after he opened his first babe furniture and doll storage in Washington , D.C ., called Children’s Bargain Town. After nearly a decade operating Children’s Bargain Town, Lazarus restructured his business, decided to focus solely on toys and reformatted the storage to take after a supermarket, so patrons could see open shelves of dolls and place desired items in shopping carts.

In the ’8 0s, Toys R Us ran international, opening locatings all over the world. During the company’s closing proclamation last week, administrators for the retailer said it planned to close all 75 stores in the U.K. The widespread shutdowns will affect approximately 3,000 employees in the U.K ., and about 31, 000 in the U.S . There are 791 remaining Toys R Us locatings in America.

Cheryl Chenet via Getty Images
Charles Lazarus founded Toys R Us in June 1957.

The company had about$ 5 billion in long-term debt when it filed for bankruptcy in September. When Toys R Us first entered Chapter 11, it had an ambitious plan to restructure and reemerge a healthy business. But after a weak holiday season performance coupled with intense rivalry from contenders including Amazon, Target and Walmart seemed to do the company in, according to USA Today.

Lazarus “havent had” stake in Toys R Us at the time of his death, CNN reported, but the plaything industry titan served as CEO of the business until 1994.

In a statement to HuffPost, a Toys R Us spokesman reiterated the sadness the company seemed after Lazarus’ death, adding, “He visited us in New Jersey just last year and we will forever be grateful for his positive energy, fervour for the customer and enjoy for children everywhere.”

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