Parents lament closing of Toys R Us in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Families would normally be all smiles at a toy store, but Wednesday night at Toys R Us locations in the South Bay, parents were sad knowing they'd no longer be bringing their kids shopping there.

These shoppers couldn't leave without a photo:

They can't believe the iconic toy retailer is going out of business.

"Like a punch in the gut almost," said shopper Timote Faasisila.

REPORT: Toys R Us to close or sell all stores

The location at The Plant in San Jose was one of 180 locations already marked for closure in January. But news, that all 800 locations are closing was almost too much to bear for parents who wanted their children to grow up as Toys R Us kids, just like they did.

"I wanted to pass on that tradition of bringing my son to the toy store so he could play with the toys, now he can't do that," said shopper Patrick Magto.

"Going there my whole life as a kid and every gift you wanted came from Toys R Us pretty much," said another shopper Seth Andrews.

RELATED: Bay Area Toys R Us stores closing

ABC7 News talked with a retail expert. He said the only thing that surprises him about the situation is how surprised everyone else is. "We probably saw this coming ten years ago," said Kirthi Kalyanam, the director of Santa Clara University's Retail Management Institute.

Kalyanam said the store chain was hit by a one-two punch. "They suffered a pretty severe body blow when Wal Mart started selling popular toys. And it didn't really help that the internet came along, so the internet then delivered, kind of, the final blow."

He added that the toy industry will struggle in the short term, but mom and pop toy shops will ultimately fill the void.

There is no word from Toys R Us when the closures will happen.

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