The Atlantic

The Demise of Toys ‘R’ Us Is a Warning

The private-equity companies swooping in to buy floundering retailers may ultimately be hastening their demise.
Source: Rebekka Dunlap

Ann Marie Reinhart was one of the first people to learn that Toys “R” Us was shuttering her store. She was supervising the closing shift at the Babies “R” Us in Durham, North Carolina, when her manager gave her the news. “I was almost speechless,” she told me recently. Twenty-nine years ago, Reinhart was a new mother buying diapers in a Toys “R” Us when she saw a now hiring sign. She applied and was offered a job on the spot. She eventually became a human-resources manager and then a store supervisor.

She stayed because the company treated her well, accommodating her schedule. She got good benefits: health insurance, a 401(k). But she noticed a difference after the private-equity firms Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, along with the real-estate firm Vornado Realty Trust, took over Toys “R” Us in 2005. “It changed the dynamic of how the store ran,” she said. The company eliminated positions, loading responsibilities onto other workers. Schedules became unpredictable. Employees had to pay more for fewer benefits, Reinhart recalled. (Bain and KKR declined to comment; Vornado did not respond to requests for comment.)

Reinhart’s store closed for good on April

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Plus de The Atlantic

The Atlantic7 min de lectureSociety
How Princeton Opened Itself to the Ultimate Troll
The president of Princeton is in a pickle. This summer, Christopher L. Eisgruber received a letter from more than 300 faculty members at the university asserting “indifference to the effects of racism on this campus.” They called on him “to openly an
The Atlantic5 min de lecturePolitics
For Some Trump Apologists, the Cognitive Dissonance Is Just Too Much
The need to defy reality on the president’s behalf is pushing his appointees beyond the point of reason.
The Atlantic8 min de lecturePolitics
The Democrats’ Supreme Court Hail Mary
This is the progressive case for court packing in a nutshell: “If your wallet is stolen, you don’t forgo efforts to recover it just because it might be stolen again.”