All good things must come to an end.
For those of you who missed it, Toys R Us declared bankruptcy last fall. In the winter they announced the closure of 182 stores. Those stores began their liquidation process, with an anticipated closing of March 31st. But then Toys R Us announced they would close all 800 of their stores, not just the original 183. The rest of the stores started their liquidation process in late March, with an anticipated end date in June.
Looks like that end date is not longer anticipated, but firm. Toys R Us will be closing its doors on June 30th.
The liquidation sales for Toys R Us have been slow going, with the retailer starting discounts low (10%) and taking their sweet time to drop prices further. But the hard cold facts are that Toys R Us was known for marking up prices on the most popular brands. Even with the liquidation discounts, consumers were finding the deals were better at competitors like Target and Walmart.
Throughout the liquidation process, Toys R Us has been advertising the sales in varying ranges, “Everything now 40%-60% Off!” There’s a bit of of a difference between 40% and 60%, and deal hunters found that while some products would fall into the 40% range, there were still many departments that were operating at 20 and 30 percent off, and hardly any at 60%.
As we head into the final week of liquidation sales, Toys R Us is advertising 50%-70% off. Like many a deal hunter before me, I found that some things were at 50%, very few at 70%, and many were still holding out at 40%. With the added challenge that my store was pretty picked over, nothing was where it was supposed to be, and other bargain seekers were out for blood. Seriously, be careful with those carts, friends! Loo both ways before crossing an aisle.
But all hope is not lost. I tend to enjoy the final stages of a clearance sale. The selection isn’t as overwhelming and if you’re patient, you can find some great deals hidden among the chaos. We unearthed a stack of Duplo mini-sets, literally hidden behind some art supplies, far away from the blocks. They scanned as $1.50 each, and my Lego moms and dads out there know: you see those blocks for $1.50 and you grab them, no questions asked.
If you’re heading out during this final week, go with these few tips in mind:
Comparison shop. You can scan items on your phone and see what the prices are at Amazon, Target, and Walmart via those stores apps. I scanned one item at 50% off that was still cheaper on Amazon. Don’t be blinded by the clearance sticker!
Scan everything in store before you get to the register. It’s the last week, friends. People are taking items and leaving them at other ends of the stores. The employees are doing the best they can, but don’t blindly trust that the item corresponds to the percentage off sticker. Find a scanner and double check.
Keep your eyes peeled. Same principle as above, you never know where an item you want/need could be hiding.
Seasonal toy clearance at major retailers starts next week. Target and Walmart both start their seasonal toy clearance in July. No joke, I saw a doll at TRU that was 50% and still more expensive than what I paid for it last July during Target’s toy clearance. For those of you who are hoping to do your holiday/birthday shopping during this liquidation sale, don’t go spending all your money in one place. There are more big toy sales on the horizon. If you’re new to the July toy clearance game, check out our tips and tricks for scoring great deals.
Here’s a round up of my store’s final offerings. I’ll probably do one more drop in, the last day, just to see what there is to see. Remember that item availability will vary by region. Happy deal hunting!
Baby bedding at 50%. Stock up on some baby shower gifts!
Big ride-on toys are 50%. Definitely comparison shop on these ones.
Clothes and shoes are at 60%.
My store turned into a labyrinth. Random aisle had been closed off with boxes and you had to back track the way you came. My Little Mermaid at one point exclaimed, “This is fun! It’s like a maze!” Come for the deals, stay for the in-store adventure.
Clearance sales really show you who the least popular character is in every franchise. On the other side of this posse of Geckos was a herd of Zoey Zebras.
Thomas, and other train related toys, were at 50%.
Arts sets and supplies also at 50%. See what I mean about the misleading nature of the 50%-70%?
Shimmer and Shine castle at 50%. There were several big, character playlets on sale. I spotted My Little Pony’s Sea Castle and Peppa’s School for 50% as well.
Baby health at 40%.
So. Much. Paw. Patrol. 50% off.
Aha! The elusive 70% off. Teletubbie, anyone?
Dolls and figurines are at 50% across the brands. We got Trolls, Littlest Pet Shop, and My Little Pony, to name a few.
Don’t sleep on these carts. There were signs asking people to leave their unwanted items in here, instead of re-shelving them improperly. Worth a quick look.
Trucks and remote controlled cars at 50% off.
Minions! At, guess what, 50% off.
Take home Lightening and Cruz for 50% off.
In a galaxy far, far away…toys are still 50% off.
The princess aisle was surprisingly well stocked. 50% off your favorite royalty.
And 50% off your favorite ghouls.
Mighty Morphin’ 50% Off Rangers.
Superhero Girls with some not yet Super Savings. Still 50% off.
See what I mean about the confusing signs? This one says ‘action figures 60% off” but there are no action figures here. And light sabers were scanning at 50% off. Always Be Scanning!
Tech accessories 50%. These are actually great ideas for teacher gifts, stocking stuffers, that hard to shop for person who you need to give a gift but have no idea what they want…everyone wants a fully charged cell phone battery. It’s the gift that keep on giving.
Cards and wrapping paper 70% off. Pretty decent deal and again, a good time to stock up.
Are you going to hit Toys R Us in their final days? Have you gotten any great liquidation deals? Help me say goodbye to the toy retailer in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey three years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!