On Friday, March 23, the CEO of MGA Entertainment, Isaac Larian and other investors pledged $200 million toward a bid to save more than half of the 735 Toys ‘R’ Us stores that are set to close during bankruptcy proceedings. This is the only known plan to keep the Toys ‘R’ Us brand alive.
The plan comes about two weeks after Toys ‘R’ Us announced total liquidation of all of its stores in the United States. The liquidation not only would put an end to the store and Geoffrey the giraffe mascot, but it also threatens the jobs of about 30,000 employees. It could also have a huge negative impact on smaller toy makers that rely on Toys ‘R’ Us for sales. It’s no secret that the toy store giant has been struggling for quite awhile now. Last fall, the store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but pledged to stay open. However, in January, after having a devastatingly low holiday shopping season, 182 stores were marked for closure.
Larian believes that saving at least a small part of Toys ‘R’ Us will be good for the toy industry, customers and workers. In fact, the billionaire is using his own money, not MGA funds for this bid. However, the bid would not only be helping Toys ‘R’ Us. It would also be a huge benefit to Larian because almost 1 in every 5 sales made by MGA Entertainment, also known as the Bratz doll-maker rung up at Toys ‘R’ Us stores.
The bid faces a number of obstacles like finding more investors, and getting a bankruptcy judge to approve the plan. The group trying to save at least 400 stores that belong to the toy store giant, want to raise four times the $2 million in crowdfunding to put towards the bid. They also hope to reach their goal of raising $1 Billion in funding.
If you want to help out, you can check out the website savetoysrus.com which will direct you to a GoFundMe campaign where you to do that.