Toys R Us founder dies as iconic retail chain folds

Los Angeles: The founder of the embattled Toys R Us chain of children’s stores died on Thursday, a week after the company announced the end of its operations in the United States. “There have been many sad moments for Toys R Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus, (pictured) after a period of declining health,” it said in a statement.
Lazarus, who was 94, had long since given up day-to-day running of the company he founded in 1948 as a small childcare store that evolved into one of the world’s most recognisable kids’ brands.
“He was the father of the toy business,” Michael Goldstein, who succeeds Lazarus as chief executive, told CNN.
“He knew the toys and loved the toys, and loved the kids who would shop in the stores. His face lit up when he watched kids playing with toys.”
Toys ‘R’ Us announced a week ago that it was liquidating its US operations — shutting down all 735 stores in a move that could slash 33,000 jobs, a victim of the online retail boom.— AFP