Decked out in a shirt, sunglasses and a hat, the giraffe waves goodbye at the camera as it prepares to depart with its green luggage. A viral photo of the toy store icon shows him with packed bags amidst the empty shelves at a Toys "R" Us location in North Carolina.
Toys "R" Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September hoping to restructure some US$5 billion (S$6.8 billion) in debt, much of which stemmed from a US$6.6 billion leveraged buyout by private equity firms in 2005. The store closings came after the steady decline in sales when e-commerce became the new shopping trend.
The photo of a sullen Geoffrey the Giraffe was taken by Rene Johnpiere, believed to be an employee at a Toys "R" Us in Waterbury, Connecticut.
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However, on a more positive note, the 16-foot tall statue of Geoffrey that greeted visitors at Toys R Us headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey will continue to make children happy at a hospital in the state. The 900-store retail chain will also expand its online toy assortments, Harrison added.
"Because we were forced to liquidate the USA business, we were not able to follow the normal severance process", said a Toys "R" Us spokesperson earlier this month.
The campaign for severance continued until the end, with employees expressing their views in varying ways while working final shifts at some 700 stores across the country.
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That makes us unsafe for any opponent. "If we do not control the play then it will be a physical game which would not suit us". I've seen him sad and I've seen him happy, like he was today. "It is a team that doesn't accept defeat very easily".
It's been a rough year for Toys "R" Us, whose founder Charles Lazarus died aged 94 on March 22, the same day the company was scheduled to begin its liquidation sale.
"We gave up time with our families on holidays".
Five former Toys R Us executives, including former CEO David Brandon, shared $8.2 million in retention bonuses. "Play on!" the company posted on its website.
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