Bay Area Toys'R'Us stores closing

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Toys"R"Us announced its shrinking its fleet of stores by 20 percent as part of its bankruptcy reorganization, and to better compete with online giants. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

A bankruptcy filing last fall has now led to the closure of nearly 200 Toys"R"Us stores around the country, many of them in the Bay Area.

If a chain can't compete with massive online retailers, how do the local Mom and Pop toy stores manage to hang on, even thrive?

It's a regular ritual for one Pittsburg couple, with their 5-year-old grandson Chris. Prowling the aisles of their local Toys"R"Us. But like millions of others around the country, the Sanchez family now has to cope with the reality that this Toys"R"Us, 182 stores in all, will soon be closing their doors.



"It's sad that they're closing, but with Amazon, I guess they're all coming to where they're closing," said Mark Sanchez.

Toys"R"Us announced it's shrinking its fleet of stores by 20 percent as part of its bankruptcy reorganization and to better compete with online giants like Amazon.

While the big national chain Toys"R"Us is closing locations by the dozens, some local stores, like Danville's Games Unlimited, are doing just fine.

"It's building relationships," said owner Steve Banducci, who's family opened Games Unlimited in the late 1980's, long before the prevalence of online shopping.

"We're in first, second, third generation of our customers," explained Banducci. "So we just kind of build relationships and communite with our customers a lot and they like coming back."

It doesn't hurt that Banducci also offers free gift wrap.

"I kind of prefer the small shops as opposed to the great big ones," said Chris Lindstrom, with her 5-year-old granddaughter Zoe at her side. "I mean, they do have their purpose, sometimes a little cheaper, but they're not always as convenient."

Click here for a list of Toys"R"Us stores closing in the Bay Area.
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