Shoppers react to plans to close two area Toys ‘R’ Us stores

CASCADE, Mich. -- Toys R Us announced it's planning to shut down a fifth of its stores nationwide.

The company was founded 70 years ago but has seen a decline in business over the past few years. The retailer announced it is closing nearly 200 stores across the country, including six locations in Michigan.

The Toys R Us on Harvey Street in Norton Shores will be closing, along with Babies R Us on 28th Street in Cascade.

“When you were younger, you’d walk around and see the super tall walls of toys all over the place," said Ashley Murray of Grand Rapids. "It was like never ending, every kid's dream, just being able to walk in.”

Murray said she has loved going to Toys R Us as a kid, and her 5-year-old and 6-year-year old daughters do today.  She said the stores have items that are hard to find anywhere else. "My 5-year-old wanted a penguin for her birthday," said Murray. "Who sells penguin all year around? Toys R Us does."

Stephanie Deshane of Wyoming said shoppers will truly miss stores like the Babies R Us in Cascade. "This is usually the number one place people have on their registry," said Deshane. "Where else are people going to go?"

The filing Tuesday by the company's lawyers said the decision to shut down so many locations was prompted by increase competition and a shift by customers toward online shopping.

Closures are expected to begin early next month and mostly completed by the end of April.