Photo of Toys 'R' Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe leaving goes viral as last of iconic brand's shops in the US close

The photo of Toys 'R' Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe leaving an empty store has gone viral, after the company closed all of its stores in the United States on June 29, 2018.
The photo of Toys 'R' Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe leaving an empty store has gone viral, after the company closed all of its stores in the United States on June 29, 2018.PHOTOS: FACEBOOK/RENE JOHNPIERE

A photo of Toys 'R' Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe leaving an empty shop has gone viral in the United States, as the toy retailer closed the last of its 735 stores across the country this week.

This comes after the company, whose brand dates to 1957, filed for bankruptcy in the US in September 2017, a victim of consumers' new habit of shopping online as well as a US$5 billion debt from its private equity owners.

In the photograph posted online by Facebook user Rene Johnpiere, who appears to have been an employee at the toy store, Geoffrey is seen wearing a beach shirt, with a hat and sunglasses perched on his head and his right hand on a trolley luggage.

As of Saturday (June 30), the post has been shared 315,000 times on Facebook.

Ms Johnpiere also posted several photos of an empty Toys 'R' Us store on Friday, saying: "Last pictures of store after we locked the doors for the last time."

The photos showed empty shelves and checkout counters, with signs that said, "All sales final - No returns" and "Final day!"

In a post on its official Facebook page on Friday, Toys 'R' Us' asked customers to "stay tuned" for news and information on "the next chapter for Geoffrey and the iconic Toys 'R' Us brands".

 
 

It also shared Ms Johnpiere's post with the caption "just going on a little vacation is all...#TRUBeContinued".

In Asia, there are more than 400 Toy 'R' Us stores across Greater China and South-east Asia, including 10 in Singapore.

A spokesman for Toys 'R' Us (Asia), a joint venture between Toys 'R' Us Inc - which has an 85 per cent stake - and Hong Kong's Fung Retailing, which holds the remaining 15 per cent, said on Saturday its Singapore operations are unaffected by the brand's closure in the US and there are still plans to expand further in the region. 

Toys 'R' Us (Asia) had said in a statement in September 2017, when Toys 'R' Us first filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States, that it operates as a financially independent and legally separate entity.