When the last Toys ‘R’ Us store closes its doors once and for all, the company’s top executives will have pocketed some $8.2 million in retention bonuses for sticking around long enough to liquidate the company. Wall Street firms that loaded Toys ‘R’ Us with debt when they bought it in 2005 will have collected millions in fees from the company, even if they ultimately lost the majority of their investment. And employees like Ann Marie Reinhart, who worked as a supervisor at Toys ‘R’ Us for 29 years, will walk away with nothing.
Reinhart, 58, was a full-time supervisor at a Toys ‘R’ Us store in Durham, North Carolina, until she was laid off when her store closed in early April. Because Toys ‘R’ Us didn’t give her or her coworkers any severance, Reinhart is looking for a job and getting by on the wages her husband earns delivering auto parts.
“We can’t survive on his salary very long,” she said. “We’ve already dipped into our savings to pay bills.”