Toys “R” Us Inc. has announced that it will close both its Toys “R” Us and “Babies “R” Us stores in Ann Arbor as part of a larger restructuring in the wake of a September bankruptcy. The company plans to shut down about 170 of its 866 stores in the United States.
In an open letter to customers on the Toys “R” Us website, CEO Dave Brandon wrote “the actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company that will provide the level of service and experience you should expect from a market leader.”
Locals might recognize Brandon’s name from his role as CEO of Domino’s Pizza during the 2000s, a U-M regent from 1998-2006, and U-M athletic director from 2010-2014. His time at U-M was cut short when he resigned in response to student outrage over his handling of rising game ticket prices and a concussion sustained by then-quarterback Shane Morris.
Toys “R” Us paid Brandon a $2.8 million retention bonus shortly before the bankruptcy filing, and has recently been granted permission from the bankruptcy court to give out up to $21 million in bonuses to seventeen executives, including Brandon, depending on sales this year.
The company has not released the number of employees who will lose their jobs, but they have more recently made a request to pay underlings “store closing bonuses” that would max out at a combined $3.6 million.
Both the Toys “R” Us on Washtenaw and the Babies “R” Us on Carpenter have begun closing sales. They’re expecting to shut their doors for the last time around mid-April.
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