Toys ‘R’ Us to Open 30 Straight Hours

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The battle has been on for some time. Which retailers will open on Thanksgiving, and which will give their workers the holiday off and gamble they can do very well on Black Friday? Toys “R” Us wants to top the list of “we’re open on Thanksgiving” retailers. So it will be open 30 hours straight.

The troubled toy retailer announced:

Shoppers should get their walking shoes ready. Right on the heels of the company’s Great Big Toys”R”Us Book of Awesome catalog, which offers hundreds of deals valid through November 19, Toys”R”Us® today announced it has begun preparations for Thanksgiving Weekend. Its stores nationwide will open at 5pm (local time) on Thursday, November 24 and remain open through 11pm on Friday, November 25 for 30 hours of continuous shopping*. Readying the stores to offer doorbuster savings on the season’s must-have toys, Toys”R”Us has hired thousands of helpful elves to begin stocking the shelves.

Those who want to wander the hours for the entire time may resemble the winners of the 1920s dance marathons: groggy, but still moving.

There was a time, not long ago, when the future of the retailer was in doubt. This holiday season will prove whether financiers who reinforced its balance sheet were right. Otherwise, they risk part or all of their investment. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Toys “R” Us Inc. is getting some needed relief on much of its $850 million debt load coming due in the next two years, alleviating investor concerns about its ability to meet its next deadlines for repaying debt.

Under a refinancing agreement announced Tuesday (June 13), holders of bonds maturing in 2017 and 2018 will swap their holdings for new debt that will mature in 2021 and be secured by a newly formed entity.

Why?

Chief Executive David Brandon said the refinancing will free up the company to focus on improving its store operations and developing its online business, where it is in the midst of bringing the operations in house. The toy retailer is focusing on trying to shore up its in stock levels and is testing using parts of its stores for events, like birthday parties.

A 30-hour marathon may help.