Founded by Charles P. Lazarus in its modern incarnation in 1957, Toys "R" Us traces its origins to Lazarus' children's furniture store, which he started in 1948. He added toys to his offering, and eventually shifted his focus. The company has been in the toy business for more than 65 years and operates around 800 stores in the United States and around 800 outside the US, although these numbers are steadily decreasing with time.
Toys "R" Us experienced expansion as a chain, becoming predominant in its niche field of toy retail. Represented by cartoon mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe from 1969, Toys "R" Us eventually branched out into launching the stores Babies "R" Us and the now-defunct Kids "R" Us.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. on 18 September 2017, and has also filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada (see Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act). They have stated their stores will continue to operate, but nevertheless announced the liquidation and closure of 382 locations, at least half of these Babies "R" Us locations. Liquidation sale events are likely expected to occur in additional Toys "R" Us stores.
As part of a Toys "R" Us UK division Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) agreement, it would have closed 25 of its 106 stores across the country in the spring of 2018. It was hoped that the deal would give the business time to restructure and pay off its debts, but, on 28 February 2018, Toys "R" Us UK went into administration, putting 3,200 jobs at risk. On 14 March 2018, it was revealed that all Toys "R" Us stores in the United Kingdom would close. This was followed soon after by the announcement that all of the corporate-owned locations in the United States would also be either sold off to franchisees or shuttered entirely. However, the company would be working to keep 200 stores in the US open and merge them with stronger Canadian operations.