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Huntsville Toys ‘R’ Us set to close

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Long-time toy chain Toys 'R' Us will soon be closing all of its stores in America.

Company leaders have already filed for bankruptcy and will look to sell or shut down more than 700 locations, which includes Huntsville.

For over 50 years, they've been one of the biggest names in toy shopping.

"It's just sad to see this place go, it's been here since I was a little kid," Anthony McNelley from Hazel Green said.

"I told my 9-year-old son this morning that Toys 'R' Us is closing all of its stores. And he was just heartbroken," Claire Aiello said. Aiello is the marketing and communications director for the Huntsville Madison County Chamber.

This week, company leaders announced they're pulling the plug, with plans to close or sell off every location in America, which includes the store at Bridge Street Town Centre.

"I talked to one of the employees inside, they're not sure when they're going to close," McNelley said.

The liquidation hasn't yet begun. Toys 'R' Us leaders are in court, working out a transition plan for the next two months. According to a report from 2014, Toys 'R' Us in Huntsville had a little under 40 full-time workers with dozens more part-time and holiday staff.

"I search customer service and I had over 200 listings. I search retail and I had over 400 listings," Aiello said when referencing open job listings around Huntsville.

Hearing the latest news about Toys 'R' Us, many people you ask may tell you it's Amazon and online shopping that's strangling the brick and mortar stores down the street. But business leaders in Huntsville that we asked said it doesn't take a Prime membership to attract young customers.

"Does Amazon ask you how your kids are doing? No," Harrison Diamond said. Diamond is the city's business relations officer.

For the next few weeks, it appears to be business as usual at the Bridge Street store.

Toys 'R' Us leaders hope to combine the top-selling 200 stores in America with its locations in Canada.

On Thursday, we contacted both Toys 'R' Us corporate spokespeople as well as staff at Bridge Street Town Centre, but we don't know yet if anyone is planning on taking over the space.

If you're a store employee and are losing your job, you can find helpful job listings through the Huntsville Madison County Chamber.