The recent bankruptcy filing at Toys “R” Us has roiled the toy industry. Yet the struggles at the company are not new. The firm was taken private in a $6.6 billion leveraged private equity buyout in 2005, with the aim of turning the chain around, but the resulting debt has proved to be unserviceable.
The news is part of a larger trend of closings that some are calling the retail apocalypse. The rise of e-commerce, combined with a shift in consumer preference toward dining out over shopping and with years of overbuilding, has made for distinctly unattractive economics in traditional retail.
Take a closer look, however, and the prevailing narrative isn’t quite what it seems. . . . more