If you haven’t heard yet, (where have you been?!) some of your favourite childhood stores, Toys R Us and Claire’s, have filed for bankruptcy and are expecting to close down most, if not all, of their locations. Yup. Cue the tears. We grew up with these stores and now we have to say goodbye?? Nope. Not ready for this. Even though we’ve seemed to grow out of their merchandise, it’s still sad to see them go. I still have fond memories of going to Toys R Us to pick out a new toy, and Claire’s always had the best new jewellery trends to show off in elementary school. Since I, and all of you, will miss the nostalgia these stores brought us dearly, I will now explain my thoughts on how I feel about my favourite childhood stores closing down- as told through the stages of grief.
Stage 1: Shock & Denial
When I first read the articles surrounding the controversy of Toys R Us filing for bankruptcy, I was in complete shock. I couldn’t believe my favourite place to shop as a kid would be gone forever. I entered into a state of utter denial. Then, a few weeks later, I found out that Claire’s would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as well. Again, I was shocked, and I’m actually still in denial about this whole situation.
Stage 2: Guilt
As I thought about the fact that retail stores everywhere were taking a big hit from online shopping, I felt a twinge of guilt. I am a huge online shopper, so I could understand the retailers’ struggle when faced with the new world of online shopping. Online shopping is a consumer’s blessing but a retailer’s curse! I have to admit that I feel a tad guilty about this.
Stage 3: Anger
The more I thought about these retailers being gone, the angrier I got about it. Are we ruining the retail market by buying into (get it?) online shopping? Will my children ever get to experience a childhood of running into a toy store and being in awe of the endless shelves of toys? I totally felt like these stores were letting down my future hopes of going toy shopping with my kids and I was not happy about it.
Stage 4: Depression, Reflection
Toys R Us and Claire’s filing for bankruptcy really got to me. I was overcome with an overwhelming sadness that felt like my childhood memories were slipping away. I took this time to reflect on the moments I had growing up and playing in these stores. Truth be told, that made me even sadder.
Stage 5: The Upward Turn
Even though letting go of the thought of these stores being around was hard, it paved the way for a positive change of outlook. Since I had clearly grown out of these stores, maybe their locations would be used to house stores I would actually appreciate now, as a young adult.
Stage 6: Working Through
After taking a few days to process the news, I am now slowly working through the thought of my favourite childhood stores not being around anymore. Although they were a significant part of my childhood growing up, it’s time for them, and myself, to move on (onto bigger and better stores, that is).
Stage 7: Acceptance
I have now fully accepted the idea that these stores may eventually become extinct in the retail world. They served a significant purpose in everyone’s childhood growing up, and will continue to be in our memories. There’s nothing like walking into a Toys R Us or Claire’s as a child – Amazon’s got nothing on that.
Even though we must soon bid our favourite stores farewell, they will be forever part of our childhood memories and history. PS. I invite you all to raise a glass to all the girls that got their ears pierced at Claire’s. CHEERS!