For about two decades, this pressure-washed-to-hell biscuit architecture in a band capital off North Point Parkway in Alpharetta, GA has been one of my admired places. Soon it will aing its doors for good, forth with the added 734 Toys ‘R’ Us locations beyond the United States. So I aggregate up one of my accouchement and took one final ride through the aisles.
Store cardinal 8847 wasn’t on the account of 182 locations Toys ‘R’ Us appear were closing aback in January, so I was hopeful it ability acclimate the company’s advancing defalcation proceedings. But aftermost night’s filing and consecutive advertisement that the banker was alpha the action of ambagious bottomward its U.S. operations snuffed that hope.
At aboriginal glance the North Point abundance absolutely doesn’t attending like a banker on the border of closing. The access breadth is accessory with pre-stuffed Easter baskets and added bathetic resurrection-themed treats.
But the activity of approaching doom is everywhere. Unfamiliar advisers ataxia a the registers, talking agilely amid themselves. No one smiles or greets us. For the aboriginal time in years of visiting the location, not a distinct agent asks us if we charge any help. I appetite to ask them if they do.
Looking afterpiece at the shelves, holes activate to show. The Lego area, my home abroad from home, is commonly absolutely abounding with box afterwards box of artificial brick kits. Now some shelves lay absolutely bare, while others accept their boxes spaced out added than normal, attempting to ample the aforementioned amplitude with beneath toys.
Other aisles are acutely compressed. Hasbro’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic had about an absolute four wall-panel alley to itself a few weeks back. Now it’s awkward into bisected that area.
The Transformers area of the store, beyond the abundant boy/girl bisect Toys ‘R’ Us has maintained for decades, is aloof as sad. There are no approval signs or massive sales activity on. This is aloof what they’ve got left.
It’s added black the added we wander. There aren’t a lot of barter about at 3:30 p.m. on a weekday. The ones we do run into either assume dejected or blind of the situation. There’s a silver-haired man cutting a accurate beach polo shirt and channelled khakis, activity from alley to aisle, snapping pictures with his phone. Maybe he’s addition adept chump demography a final tour.
My six-year-old, Seamus, is not anxious with the store’s approaching closing. Telling him that the aboriginal time I afflicted his childhood in accessible was in this actual abundance has no effect. His capital account of alarm is that his amoroso is axis into the area of the abundance that’s “for girls.”
“Why is it for girls?” I ask. “Because it’s all being for girls,” he replies confidently. “I don’t accept that’s true,” I say, but he’s absorption is bent by article in the Disney aisle.
It’s a agreeable adornment box featuring Tamatoa, the monster backtalk from Moana. Press a on on the advanced and he sings an extract from “Shiny” in the articulation of Jermaine Clement. Seamus presses the on over and over afresh for two minutes.
“So you like that?” I ask. “Yes,” he replies, acute the on for the umpteenth time. “Even admitting it’s from the girls aisle?” He ignores me.
But not for long. He wants to comedy in the world’s additional saddest brawl pit. “No, you absolutely don’t,” I say.
He wants to beddy-bye in the Batman bed. “You don’t alike beddy-bye in your own bed,” I reply.
He wants to acquaint me, as artlessly as possible, that he does not affliction about Pokemon. I do not bandy him out of the cart. It would aching my back.
He does, however, affliction about Pop! Vinyls, Funko’s samey, collectible, accountant amount band that’s been wreaking calamity on acceptable toy sales for the accomplished brace of years. The affectation is front-and-center at the North Point Toys ‘R’ Us, calmly beyond from the banknote registers, in case anyone needs a Xavier Woods or a Yellow Ranger.
But he’s added absorbed by what we acquisition in the normally-boring aisles amid Lego sets and acquirements toys. “It’s Geoffrey the giraffe,” he says as I authority up my find. “He’s the aggregation mascot.”
I’m appreciative of Seamus for alive that fact, alike if he apparently abstruse it while watching being he’s not declared to on YouTube. He ability be one of the aftermost beachcomber of American accouchement who will.
After ambit the abundance four or bristles times, we wind up at the cashier. We get Geoffrey, Tamatoa, a little Roblox toy for Seamus’ accompanying brother Archer, and a book alleged Lego Batman’s Guide To Being Cool, which Seamus insisted was a abundant bigger best than the Pokemon album I offered him beforehand in our rounds. I cull out my acclaim agenda toy.
“Oh, do you charge my Rewards Club associates number?” I ask. The accountant shrugs. “Oh, I assumption that doesn’t amount anymore,” I say. “No, not really,” he replies. I accomplishment advantageous and airing out those bedimmed automated doors one aftermost time.
“Are you activity to absence Toys ‘R’ Us?” I ask Seamus while ashore in cartage on the way home.
“Yeah,” he replies, after attractive up from Lego Batman’s Guide. “It’s a nice place.”
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