Toys r us announces closing of all its stores opinion electricity storage costs

Toys R Us’ demise was primarily spelled out in 2005, when companies such as Bain Capital, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Vornado Realty Trust bought the company for $7.5 billion, privatized the company, and saddled it with crippling debt for the rest of its existence. It’s not the first company these firms have done this to, nor will it be the last. It’s OK, though: Even after September’s initial bankruptcy declaration, all the executives each gave themselves a hefty several million dollar Christmas bonus. "Good job,” right? I’m sure the 33,000 unemployed workers and hundreds of abandoned stores adding blight to the retail landscape can somehow find solace in that.

There were other issues, of course. The stores redesigned themselves with that "minimalistic" approach that had been popularized by Apple products in the 2000’s, losing the "warehouse" look in favor of a boutique style. Even the company’s mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, went through a more simplistic redesign, losing much of his charm and personality in the process. And their prices were higher than what you could find against Amazon and department stores, even though Toys R Us did price match and had an online store like every other major retailer.

But there will be a loss for many reasons. Up to 10 to 15 percent of existing toys on the market are said to be lost forever as a result of Toys R Us closing. They took chances on smaller toy companies, and had the retail space to support new ideas, unlike the limited shelf allocation of a Wal-Mart or Target.

Toys R Us hasn’t done well for a while now, running off of nostalgia and memories. I’d wager the earworm of the "I’m A Toys R Us Kid" jingle has already filled your mind while reading this, a song created by Linda Kaplan Thaler, who wasn’t sure if it would go over well. But history told a different story. And everybody remembers Geoffrey the Giraffe beaming cheerfully throughout the store, or who would make live appearances during birthday events.

For me, the loss is felt in a different way: Spending most of my free time writing about pop culture subjects, of course I’d still frequent a store for a video game or some knickknack to display on my desk. But my memories come from the Toys R Us in Mesquite, Texas, just down the street from Town East Mall. My family would make the weekend trip to Dallas, which inevitably ended with my Dad taking me to this particular store. I loved the endless aisles of toys, and the flip-up cards showing off every new Atari or Nintendo game, each one more tantalizing than the last.

It wasn’t just the store. It was part of my family experience. A beloved memory with my Father. Even last summer as I passed through Texas, I stopped by the old store, and felt four decades of memories wash over me. It’s funny: In 2009, during a visit to Corsicana a year after Dad died, I felt this weird urge to photograph places that I always frequented, like I needed to capture the memory of certain places. Looking back, I have pictures of Corsicana’s old Blockbuster and Movie Gallery video stores, the original McDonalds, and College Park Mall… when you could actually still walk inside of it. I took a picture of that Toys R Us in Mesquite as well, "just in case". And now, like those other places from my hometown, it’s becoming a memory of times past.

We live in a digital age these days, but can it give us memories? Will you fondly think back on that time you selected same day shipping? Will your kids remember that app as being the most exciting thing they found under the Christmas tree a certain year? Will anyone even remember that app six months later? Will technology updates allow you to pass off an outdated tablet to your kids as a memory of your own childhood?