retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Toys R Us has announced its intention to close 200 stores, on top of the already announced closure of 180 stores that was going to affect some 4,500 employees. These new closing will result in the company having roughly half the number of stores in the US that it had before declaring bankruptcy late last year.

The new closures are taking place despite the fact that the company’s senior executives managed to convince a bankruptcy court judge to allow them to be paid millions of dollars in bonuses that they said would incentivize them to stay at Toys R Us.

The company said that the reason for the closures was a disappointing holiday season. It also said that a significant percentage of corporate staff also would be laid off.

The Wall Street Journal writes that “the company has also walked back from a promise to offer severance to all affected employees. According to internal documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, managers were recently instructed to tell hourly workers that ‘there are no severance benefits being provided for the store-closing process.’ In January, store managers were instructed to tell employees that the company would provide severance to all affected employees, including hourly workers, according to the documents.”
KC's View:
I feel awful for the thousands of people who are losing their jobs, and who now have to deal with the fact that they were lied to by the company’s senior executives, who looked out for themselves but seem to have little concern for their employees, the people who were on the front lines.

I am disgusted by these senior execs. I hope that none of them ever are hired for another top job again, especially at a retailer. They cannot be trusted. They will look out for themselves before thinking about employees, consumers and even shareholders.

Look, Toys R Us had a flawed business plan that simply was not up to the radical changes in retailing and consumer behavior that have occurred over the past decade. That’s not just the fault of current execs. But in the end, they showed a lack of compassion that should mark their careers forever.