We visited a Babies R Us store that’s about to shut down — and it was a mess

A Babies R Us store in downtown Manhattan preparing to close.

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A Babies R Us store in downtown Manhattan preparing to close.
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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Toys R Us will be closing or selling all 735 of its US stores after filing a motion to liquidate its US business last week. The toy retailer had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

Toys R Us had already said in January that 170 of its Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores would close, and many of those locations have started going-out-of-business sales. The company’s liquidation filing last week will trigger clearance sales that could begin as soon as Thursday at the locations that had not already planned to close.

Babies R Us stores will be closing as a result of the liquidation as well, though its website will remain running for the time being.

We visited a Babies R Us store that has been preparing to close since January to see what it looked like and to see what may lie ahead for other Babies R Us and Toys R Us stores once clearance sales begin at a wider scale.

This is what we found:


The Babies R Us I went to in downtown Manhattan had been set to close since January. Employees said it’s expected to close by the end of March.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Because of the coming closing, this location was not accepting returns or coupons.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Signs like these were hanging all over the store and were the first thing I saw when I walked in.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Everything in sight was marked down, often more than once.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Toys were especially steeply discounted, with price cuts of up to 50% off the original cost …

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and some toys had signs advertising additional markdowns. Even the displays the toys were on were for sale.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were a lot of boxes that had never been unpacked, many of them torn or falling apart.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were half-empty displays in the middle of the store …

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and it only got worse as I went farther back.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Many shelves had only one or two seemingly random items on display.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

As I ventured farther into the store, I found entire rooms that were empty.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The boxes on display in this nearly empty room were torn and clearly had been moved around a lot. Many pieces of merchandise here were marked as the last of that product available in-store.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Hoping the second floor wouldn’t be as depressing as the first, I went upstairs. These signs were at the bottom of the (nonfunctioning) escalator, so my expectations were pretty low.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The signs weren’t exaggerating. There were still displays up, but they were abandoned. It felt as if the store had been closed for weeks already.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The only sign that the store still existed was the sight of an employee in a Babies R Us shirt, walking around the floor and playing music from his phone.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There were more massive sale signs, even though there was no merchandise.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

I walked up to the third floor to find all of the store fixtures and displays for sale. It was a mess — the floor was literally falling apart, and I had to climb over merchandise to get around. The two employees on this floor were just sitting down and talking.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

In the back corner of the store, there were tables covered in baby mannequins on sale for upward of $75. A lot of them were damaged or being sold for parts — it was bizarre and unsettling.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The learning center was dark and eerie …

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

… and I had to walk through a maze to get back to the escalator.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Along the way, I passed a few more empty rooms.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

As I was walking to the exit, I noticed that even the soda and small merchandise by the register were on sale. There was no line and very few people working. The store looked as if it could close at any minute, and it showed what the future may hold for the remaining Babies R Us and Toys R Us stores.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

More on Toys R Us’ demise: