The man who founded Toys R Us – a toy dealers – died at the age of 94, a week after his company announced he was closing his door.
Charles Lazarus began selling toys in 1957 in large supermarket stores after returning from military service to World War II.
His death comes after the company has announced that it will close all US and UK stores and asks for bankruptcy protection.
“Heartbreakingnews report on his death” was published Thursday by the company.
“Over the last few weeks, Toys R Us has had a lot of sad moments and no more heartbreaking than today’s report on the departure of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus,” the company wrote online.
There have been many sad moments for Toys"R"Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today's news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles' family and loved ones.
— ToysRUs (@ToysRUs) March 22, 2018
The press release told Toys R Us that he was in “falling health” and that “we will be grateful for his positive energy, enthusiasm for the customer and love for children everywhere”.
The company announced on Thursday it would suspend sales of hundreds of stores due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
In an interview with Entrepreneur magazine in 2008, Lazar explained that he had started a business because all his military friends told him the same thing that had returned to the US after the war.
Everyone said they were coming back to pick up and raise children, which gave him the idea of first selling children’s furniture.
After returning to a family home in the suburb of Washington DC in 1948, he transformed his father’s bicycle shop into a furniture store, called Children’s Supermart, with the letter “R” written backwards.
He later explained that R was made to make the business name look as if the child had written it.
The rear R was also greatly used in the name of Toys R Us.
Toys R Us close all US stores
Lazarus later switched to toys and plays, saying that “toys are great things to sell because they do not last so long.”
Before Toys R Us was founded, the toy market for children was mostly considered a seasonal industry.
The 1986 profile in the Atlantik Monthly magazine called Lazarus “the person most responsible for releasing Santa with his hands at the toy shop”.
R Us toys diapers with sharply discounts and hoped that parents would give money to their children, according to Bloomberg.
The company struggled with the fact that Lazarus left in 1994 as the increase in online shopping has led more and more families to shop.
Last week, the company announced that it would close all of its remaining branches in the US just a week after announcing that it would do the same for its businesses in the UK.