Strategy: Toys R Us is hinting at a post-bankruptcy revival and some former employees are not happy about it

An image of people protesting Toys R Us in New York City

The Toys R Us brand angered some former employees by comparing its bankruptcy to a vacation. The toy retailer tweeted a picture of its mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, with a suitcase, announcing that its mascot had been traveling the world for the last few months. Former employees are not amused.

  • Some former Toys R Us employees say they’re upset that the toy chain likened its bankruptcy to a vacation.
  • Toys R Us posted a tweet on October 6 featuring a picture of the company mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, holding a suitcase, saying that the iconic mascot had returned from traveling the world, signaling the company’s plans to relaunch the brand.
  • Some of those former employees have accused the company’s investors of profiting from the bankruptcy while failing to pay into a fund intended to help affected employees.

Toys R Us signaled that it could make a comeback using its mascot, Geoffrey the giraffe in a message posted on Twitter last weekend.

He’s been traveling across the globe for the past few months but now #GeoffreysBack and once again ready to set play free for children of all ages,” the tweet reads in part.

News of the potential comeback follows a press release from Geoffrey LLC, the company that holds Toys R Us’ intellectual property, announcing that its existing lenders would acquire the company’s assets.

Some former Toys R Us employees have sounded off about the plan, and the image of its corporate mascot having been on vacation. The company in January announced the closure of all of its US stores, affecting some 31,000 employees. The impact was so great, it delivered a blow to the US jobs report in August.

“They’re saying Geoffrey went on vacation. We certainly did not go on vacation,” Sarah Woodhams, who worked for Toys R Us for seven years, told The Washington Post.

The Post, citing the retail advocacy group Rise Up Retail, reported that workers are still owed $75 million in severance pay.

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