In a retail industry that has seen many companies struggle in the wake of increasing e-commerce sales, one name is particularly well known: Toys "R" Us. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and 2018 as a result of a leveraged buyout by private equity firms and has since closed all stores in the US, UK and Australia. Despite the closures, the firm is still operating in parts of Asia and Europe, where it was acquired by other companies.
But while employees of the struggling toy chain are being laid off without severance pay, executives have received millions in bonuses as the company enters liquidation. Earlier this year, a bankruptcy judge granted the company permission to pay $14 million in bonuses for its top 17 executives — but with a significant caveat. Those bonuses were only to be paid if the company's fiscal year earnings reach $550 million, a goal that many think is unlikely to happen.
As NPR explains, retailers such as Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST) and TJ Maxx have been hiking wages in an attempt to attract workers. But even with the unemployment rate at a 17-year low, it's hard for many retailers to find workers if they are paying wages close to minimum wage.
Warner took the bus to and from work for two years while he worked as a Sears associate, but he was determined to build a life of his own. He eventually saved enough to rent a warehouse, and he began buying toys for his store in New Jersey. He enlisted his wife, who works as a nurse, and their two children to repaint and retile the store, and they traveled to toy trade shows in New York and New Jersey to stock up on products.