- Photographers across America have captured former Toys R Us stores in derelict states
- In 2014 it was reported that the chain of toy stores was going to close around 100 locations
- The company felt a hit from the recession and it has also had to adapt to the rise of online retail
Once stocked full of goods from Barbies to bicycles, these former Toys R Us stores are shells of their former selves.
Photographs captured at locations across America show the vast retail playgrounds in a state of decay waiting to be snapped up by new developers.
In the meantime, the remnants of their Toys R Us past can be seen, with rusting signs and rainbow-coloured paint peeling in the sun.
Deserted: A former Toys R Us features boarded up doors and windows. The coloured paint has faded in the sun and grass can be seen pushing up through the concrete
New kids on the block: It appears that these Toys R Us stores lost out to competition. In 2014 it was reported that Toys R Us – which was established in 1957 and is now privately owned – was going to close around 100 stores as it struggled to keep up with competition
No queuing nightmares here: The pick up booth at this former Toys R Us store is devoid of customers, with the doors sealed shut
Many photos, shared on Flickr and highlighted on the blog site Messy Nessy, show empty car parks and boarded-up windows as recurring themes.
Tufts of grass break through concrete walkways once trampled on by children eager to get their hands on the latest plaything.
In 2014 it was reported that Toys R Us – which was established in 1957 and is now privately owned – was going to close around 100 stores as it struggled to keep up with competition.
In 2015 the toy shop chain closed its famous New York location in Times Square.
Dormant: This old Toys R Us looks rather uninviting with dead leaves sprinkled on the driveway and grey skies looming
Permanently shut: Wooden boarding prevents vandals from entering this former Toys R Us store. It appears the shop has been closed for quite some time with plants emerging out of the concrete
Redundant: Signs for the toy store can be seen slowly rusting in a state of neglect. The demise of brick-and-mortar stores has been felt all over the world, with shopping malls taking a major hit in the light of online retail
Fading fun house: A doorway at this Toys R Us store appears boarded up and a sign has been altered by vandals
According to a spokesman for the toy chain, rising rent costs were behind the decision to close, as the price per square foot of ground floor space had ballooned from $400-per-year when the shop opened in 2001 to $2,000 14 years on.
With 21,000ft of ground-level space to its name, that means the Times Square store was costing Toys R Us at least $42million per year in rent, without accounting for the additional 89,000sqft on the floors above, the 350 staff or the store’s signature wacky attractions.
The company’s other brand includes Babies R Us.
The demise of brick-and-mortar stores has been felt all over the world, with shopping malls taking a major hit in the light of online retail.
In 2015, one of the world’s biggest shopping malls in Ohio was pulled down after shutting its doors in 2009 as a consequence of the recession.
The end of the rainbow: This former Toys R Us in North Randall, Ohio, stands deserted with an empty car park and blacked out windows
Dated: This former Toys R Us location looks rather ominous, with crumbling paint work and autumnal trees in the background
Cover up: Black paint was used to try and disguise this Toys R Us sign, but the layer has gradually peeled off to reveal the text underneath
Who will buy? A sign on this old Toys R Us store signals that the building is now up for lease
The company’s other brand includes Babies R Us. A passer-by captured a photo of a derelict Babies R Us store, with the company logo just visible
THE DEATH OF BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORES: INSIDE THE CRUMBLING OHIO MALL BEFORE DEMOLITION
These are the eerie images of the abandoned shopping centre that was once the biggest in the world.
Photographer Matthew Christopher visited the dilapidated Randall Park Mall just months before demolition work began in 2015.
The haunting images show the dust-covered remains of what were once thriving shops and even a movie theatre.
Left behind: All that’s left of the once momentous Randall Park Mall in Ohio is an eerie shell of what it once was
Just dust: These haunting images show the dust-covered remains of what were once thriving shops and bustling stairwells
Once occupied: Incredibly, 5,000 members of staff worked in this shopping hotspot when it was in its prime
When the mall was opened in 1976 in North Randall, Ohio, the town had a population of just 1,500.
Incredibly, 5,000 members of staff worked in its shopping hotspot.
Randall Park Mall shut its doors in 2009 after being hit hard by the recession.
Once a symbol of American retail, many malls have begun to decline and even close in recent years. Snapper Matthew, who has photographed other abandoned buildings such as hotels, factories and churches, plans to photograph more malls in the future.
His latest work is featured in the second volume of his book Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences.
Wiped out: These haunting images of Randall Park Mall are all that remain after it was torn down
Bear space: This bear is one of the few items left in the bare mall which was once filled with scores of shoppers of all ages
He said: ‘Indoor mega malls are a recent invention and they are swiftly becoming obsolete.
‘Many communities are witnessing them struggling to stay in business and everybody has memories of visiting them when they were thriving.
‘Because of the memories we share of visiting spaces like this in the not terribly distant past, abandoned malls can be an eerie presence.
‘Particularly when combined with the smiling, enticing advertising still present in them for stores no longer in existence.
Courtesy: Daily Mail Online