Metro parents, employees preparing for sad news as future of Toys ‘R’ Us stores up in the air

LENEXA, Kan. -- Parents across the United States are wondering about the fate of an American icon.

Parents fear Toys 'R' Us, which is already going through Chapter 11 and closing some stores, may close all its remaining stores -- more than 600.

But if Toys 'R' Us stores close, it’ll impact more than just parents.

On Monday, the doors to the Toys 'R' Us store at 95th Street and Quivira Road continuously opened as customers came to get what they could of both toys and nostalgia.

Mike Powers walked out with his 7-year-old son, who carried a bag of baseball cards.

“It’s a been a toy store that’s been in business for a long long time,” Powers said, “and I’d hate to see it go.”

Powers already saw the Olathe store closest to his house go.

“We thought this one was closing, too,” he said Monday.

Rochelle McCoy has lived and worked on 95th Street for most of her life. The toy store was part of her childhood.

“When I was younger, Toys 'R' Us -- you want to go there when you’re a kid, absolutely," she said. "And to think that may not be a possibility anymore, I think it’s definitely a sign that things are changing, and it’s a little sad.”

Sad might also describe the traffic around the store. McCoy would know. She now works in the same shopping center as Toys 'R' Us.

“It definitely seems like traffic’s slowed down quite a bit, as far as people coming in the store,” she said. “But it would be something sad to look over there and see it’s not there anymore.”

Tenants in the shopping center on the northeast corner of 95th and Quivira said roughly 50 percent of the shops in the center are vacant -- and that’s while Toys 'R' Us is still open for business.

But it isn’t just about anchor stores for shopping centers. Think about how many people the company employs -- both at its remaining metro stores and its distribution center in Lee’s Summit.

“It will be sad to see if that’s something that’s going to happen,” McCoy said, “to see that go away. I hope it doesn’t.”

FOX 4 spoke with employees at both the distribution center and the Quivira store Monday. They all said they haven’t been told anything yet but should know more later in the week.

Amanda Kahl with Toys 'R' Us provided the following statement to FOX 4 on Monday:

"As we have shared publicly, our focus is on the reinvention of our business and emergence from Chapter 11. Decisions about our future store footprint and organizational structure will be based on needs of the new business model. It is therefore premature for us to comment on that. Any articles in the media regarding additional store closures are based on pure speculation."

All available financial restructuring information can be found here.