DALLAS - Toys R Us plans to close as many as 182 stores nationwide as part of its bankruptcy reorganization.
Six of the planned closures are in North Texas, including the stores in Allen, Irving, Lewisville, Hurst, near the Dallas Galleria and in southwest Fort Worth.
The announcement comes just months after the retail giant filed for bankruptcy protection. The company may avoid some closures if it is able to get better lease terms.
The store closings will begin in February and the majority of locations identified for closure, which include Babies R Us stores, will go dark by mid-April. At some other locations, Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores will be combined. The bankruptcy court still must sign off on the closings.
Toys R Us wouldn't say how many jobs will be cut. It said some employees will be moved to other stores and those who cannot be will get severance. Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon said Wednesday that tough decisions are required to save Toys R Us.
He acknowledged "operational missteps" during the critical holiday shopping season when shopping at its stores and online wasn't as easy as it should have been.
"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," he said in a letter to customers.
Many parents say their kids will miss out on the experience of physically being in the aisles.
"I think what they'll be missing is just the fun outing that we get to do when we go to Toys 'R' Us and shop,” said parent Aly Gonzales. “It’s just not the same going anywhere else."
In wake of monstrous competition from Walmart and Amazon, some customers admit convenience often rules. Others say it seems unfair.
"Sometimes you have no time to go anywhere,” said shopper Hassan Alobaidi. “You have to buy online and that’s it."
"I pretty much grew up with the brand and now take my kids there,” said parent Ella Bustos. “So it’s sad to see it going that direction."
Going-out-of-business sales at the affected stores are expected to start next month.