This week, thousands of people around the world have felt nostalgic pangs as famous toy store chain Toys R Us closes its doors for good.
In the wake of this historic retail event, a photo of the store’s mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, standing in an empty store with a suitcase, is going viral. Dressed in vacation gear, Geoffrey appears ready to head into retirement as he no longer has a job with the closing of his beloved employer.
The origin of the photo is unclear, but may have been staged and taken by a store employee. Here it is posted by Facebook user Rene Johnpiere:
After more than 60 years in business, the industry giant is the latest casualty in the ongoing demise of brick-and-mortar retail stores as more and more shoppers turn to online retailers and big-box stores like Walmart and Target that offer one-stop shopping destinations.
Late last year, Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy. Although they had hoped to restructure and rebrand in order to compete in the modern marketplace, it was ultimately not to be, and liquidation sales began in preparation of closing all the stores.
For now, the future of the brand is uncertain. An auction for the company’s name, baby shower registry and other trademarks is set for late July, so it’s possible that Geoffrey could have an encore career.
The iconic giraffe is not the only one disappointed by an early retirement from Toys R Us, as thousands of (human) employees have also been laid off in the wake of the store’s closing.
“I’m never going to have a job like Toys R Us,” long-time store employee Patty Van Fossan, 54, from Boardroom, Ohio, told Honolulu Star Advertiser. “It was the best job I had. I was surrounded by children.”
Are you saddened by the loss of the beloved toy store?