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Fans of Toys ‘R’ Us worry about fate of company

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 15. 2018 10:20AM

Jaycen Shepherd was excited to go to Toys “R” Us with his parents, Jenna and David, on Wednesday in Manchester. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER - Some parents and grandparents are hoping reports aren't true that Toys “R” Us may close some or all of its stores.

“I'll miss the store,” Hampstead resident Lorrie Howard said Wednesday while pushing a cart in the store parking lot.

She purchased birthday presents for her granddaughter, Ava Routhier of Hooksett, who likes toy snakes.

“Ava likes to walk through the store and touch things,” said Howard, a weekly store visitor.

She sometimes shops for toys at Target, Walmart or online with Amazon, but she buys the most at Toys “R” Us.

Toys “R” Us is planning to sell or close all 800 of its U.S. stores, a source told The Washington Post on Wednesday.

Bloomberg reported this week that Toys “R” Us has missed payments to some suppliers in recent days as its U.S. division heads toward a likely liquidation, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

The chain, which already has filed for bankruptcy, operates 800 stores, including locations in Manchester, Concord, Nashua and Salem.

“Nothing's confirmed as of now,” said a store employee, who shooed away a reporter from the Manchester store's parking lot.

Customer Jenna Thivierge said she just heard about the store's possible fate.

“It has the best selection of toys,” she said.

She and her boyfriend, David Shepherd, visited the Manchester store with their 4-year-old son, Jaycen, a fan of trains.

She shops the chain's Manchester and Nashua stores.

“I don't like online shopping” and checking to see if packages arrive at their home, she said.

The company has failed to find a buyer or reach a debt restructuring deal with lenders, leaving it with few options, people familiar with the situation said at the time. A hearing in bankruptcy court is scheduled to be held on Thursday after being delayed.

Bloomberg contributed to this story.


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