Toys R Us has announced a possible comeback but some former employees are upset over the news because they still haven’t received their severance payments.
The toy retailer closed all of its 800 stores earlier this year after it filed for bankruptcy. A total of $75 million is owed to more than 30,000 who were affected by the closings, according to Rise Up Retail, The Washington Post reported.
The announcement of the toy brand’s possible revival on Twitter came on the heels of court filings made Oct. 1. Documents showed the company’s owners intentions to hang onto the company’s intellectual assets, including brand names, web domains and its iconic mascot, Geoffrey the giraffe.
“Guess who’s back? He’s been traveling across the globe for the past few months but now #GeoffreysBack and once again ready to set play free for children of all ages. Share some of your favorite memories and get ready to make a whole lot of new ones!” Toys R Us tweeted on Saturday.
Guess who's back? He’s been traveling across the globe for the past few months but now #GeoffreysBack and once again ready to set play free for children of all ages. Share some of your favorite memories and get ready to make a whole lot of new ones! https://t.co/g4IMRXLsFP pic.twitter.com/VB2MjhnzKj
— ToysRUs (@ToysRUs) October 6, 2018
To some former employees, the statement felt more like “lemon on the wounds” Carrie Gleason, campaign manager for the worker advocacy group Rise Up Retail told The Post.
“There’s a lot of people making money in this bankruptcy,” Gleason said. “And it’s just not right.”
When Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy, it disclosed nearly $8 billion in debt against assets of $6.6 billion.
Settlement checks are expected to be mailed to creditors later this month at a rate of 22 cents on the dollar, according to The Dallas Morning News.
However, it’s not clear when payments will be made to its former employees.
What’s the plan?
The Toybook reported that the revamped Toys R Us brand will be called Geoffrey’s Toy Box.
Geoffrey’s Toy Box will reportedly be a shop-within-a-shop concept at a prominent regional midwest retailer, but the company has not yet disclosed its official plans or a launch date.
Jeffrey Pierce, chief investment officer of Snow Park Capital Partners, another Toys R Us lender, told The Post in a statement that the retailer’s closing caused a void in the toy industry.
“But if the proposed reorganization plan moves forward, the void can be filled in a way that creates new opportunities for former employees, manufacturers and the brand,” Pierce said. “That should be the desired outcome for creditors and the company’s long-term stakeholders.”