Locals Respond to Toys R' Us Closure

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The local Toys R' Us in Panama City is closing its doors. You have just five days left to walk the aisles.

The CEO of Toys R' Us announced filing for bankruptcy last September after having years of low sales and billions of dollars of debt. 

After almost 23 years of business, the shelves of the local store are now empty and employees and customers are emotional about the closing. 

 Sales Associate Shannon Stem explains how the employees are like family. 
"People who work here-- they've either met their spouse here or they've gone to other people's weddings. the pictures that you saw in the back, it's showing all of the people who have worked here over the years and all of the fun memories that they've had."

Employees were told in March that the store was closing along with all others across the country. 

"it's like an end of an era," said Stem.

Noah Strickland, who has autism, loves this store and is sad to see it go. He told News 13 how he is confused why he can't walk down his favorite aisles anymore.
"Every time I used to come here I used to get stuff from there, and there which used to be my favorite aisle--- it says caution, which means don't go. So i'm confused."

Noah's mom, Jennifer Strickland, constantly used the store to help him cope with sensory overload. A common symptom of autism. Shopping was like therapy-- he learned to process the many sounds, and colors; and then he was rewarded with a toy. 

The store has sold $1.2 million of inventory since the announcement of the liquidation.

Sales will continue throughout the weekend, before closing for good on the Jun. 26.  

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