The company has a store and a distribution center in Frederick County.
Frederick, Md (KM). The liquidation of Toys R Us will mean the closure of its store and its distribution center. The Director of the City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development, Richard Griffin, says it’s “disappointing and sad” when a retailer closes it doors. “Retail is a very, very challenging industry sector. And obviously, we known for a while that Toys R Us was in trouble,” he says. “Nonetheless, it’s never easy when a business in our community closes, and our hearts go out to both the employees and the customer.”
The company announced it was going out of business on Thursday. It had a disappointing holiday shopping season, and was not able to turn itself around.
Toys R Us has a store at 1308 West Patrick Street at the Golden Mile Market Place, which employs about 35 people. Its distribution center at the Dudrow Industrial Park just off of Buckeystown Pike has about 320 employees.
“We’ve reached out to the leadership at both locations and let them know we are ready to assist their employees during this transition,” says Michelle Day, Director of Frederick County Workforce Services. “We have resources available to assist with all aspects of the jobs search process, including retraining. The majority of the individuals we assist are able to successfully find jobs.”
“The Toys R Us Distribution Center is part of the 17% that makes up Frederick County’s trade and transportation sector,” says Helen Propheter, the Director of the County’s Office of Economic Development, also in a statement. “This sector is the largest industry in Frederick County by employment. As our County continues to add jobs at a faster rate than most of the state, this industry is an important industry that we want to continue to help foster and grow. We are hopeful we can transition these employees into similar job openings in the county.”
Griffin also believes these employees will find new jobs. “Our unemployment now is in the low 3% range, and the opportunity for people to become re-employed is very high in our community.”
The Toys R Us store on West Patrick Street has 45,000 square feet of space, and it’s near a furniture store which is also closing. “The Golden Mile has had its share of national retail bankruptcy and failure,” he said, pointing to the former Montgomery Wards at the Frederick Town Mall which is now a Home Depot, and the one-time Hechinger’s store which has been occupied for a number of years by Wolf Furniture.
Griffin says he’s confident a new tenant will be found for the Toys R Us site. “We’ve been able to attract other retailers to the corridor so we’re hopeful and we’re confident we’re going to see other retailers come in,” he says.
Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor agrees. “Locally, all closures are regrettable for the short term, but for the long term, the prospects are good for other businesses, especially in the prime real estate along the revitalized Golden Mile corridor of West Patrick Street,” he says, in a statement.
By Kevin McManus