Report: These 12 Toys R Us stores with expiring leases may close soon

By: Theo Thimou

Updated:

By now you’ve no doubt heard the news that Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy a month ago.

But much to the delight of kids everywhere, the toy chain is not explicitly looking to go out of business; rather, the goal of the bankruptcy is to restructure debt and hopefully keep as many stores open as possible.

Still, we all know the reality: The ax is likely to fall on some locations.

The legacy Wayne, NJ-based company currently operates 880 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam.

When it is time to thin out the herd, the question is: Which stores will get the plug pulled on them and when will it happen?

RELATED: Toys R Us files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, stores remain open

These Toys R Us locations are coming off lease soon

Credit rating agency Morningstar is out with a new list of a dozen locations it expects the struggling retailer to close when lease expirations come up in at the end of January 2018.

Three of the locations are clustered in Georgia, with the remaining ones spread out around the Midwest, Northeast and South.

  • Columbus, GA
  • Lithonia, GA
  • Albany GA
  • Midland, MI
  • McAllen, TX
  • Norman, OK
  • Durham, NC
  • Tampa, FL
  • Bay Shore, NY
  • Naperville, IL
  • Fairless Hills, PA

In addition, Morningstar notes Toys R Us has several stores not included in the list above that are either actively in foreclosure or already 90 days late on their commercial loans.

Those particular locations are in Omaha, NE; Gainsville, FL.; Clive, IA; and Blaine, MN.

So there you have it: Nearly a dozen stores with near-term lease expirations and another handful that qualify as distressed commercial real estate.

While there’s no official word yet about store closures, this report offers an early look-see about which ones might soon be shuttered.

And that’s exactly why money expert Clark Howard says you should avoid buying gift cards this holiday season.

If you choose to buy a Toys R Us gift card for someone for Christmas, you’re taking on the risk that their local store may not be there when they go to spend it.

Clark’s alternative? Give cash instead! There’s no expiration date, it never goes out of style and any store will accept it!

RELATED: 62 shopping malls to close for Thanksgiving 2017

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