The unfortunate ending for Toys ‘R’ Us speaks volumes about allowing hedge funds to buy into companies that are American icons. We need to tell hedge funds to keep their grubby hands off of companies that have meant a lot to, in this case, millions of children through the years. In full disclosure, I have not been an inveterate Toys ‘R’ Us shopper.
There was only one store located in our community, in an adjoining town. I was in the store for a total of three times during its existence. But, regardless of infrequency, while I was shopping in the store, I noticed while there that the store was filled with young families who were in the process of familiarizing their children with preferred toys and taking note of their reactions, to inform later purchases. I wasn’t a child during the Toys “R” Us era, but I can well imagine how nice that would have been to have been taken to the store by my parents and allowed to luxuriate in a whole store full of toys. How nice for children of that era; what a shame that that opportunity has now been destroyed for children of the future. And, the destroyers? Well, most of the blame rests with the five hedge funds who had bought the debt of the store at a time when it was struggling to combat Amazon’s incursions. Principal among the group was Solus Alternative Asset Management who persuaded four other hedge fund holders to pull the plug on the toy store. They decided that the toy story was worth more dead than alive and refused to assist in the company’s Chapter 11 filing and restructuring effort. How nice for them; how unfortunate for children. I hope they enjoy their Christmas coming up; we can be assured that the enjoyment of many children to participate in the choice of their toys will have distinctly been curtailed by this group of money grabbers.
TOYS ‘R’ US – ANOTHER AMERICAN ICON