Happy Monday all,

It looked like old times at the Christiana Toys ‘R Us. The parking lot and the aisles were filled with shoppers on a chilly early spring afternoon.

The drawing card was a highly publicized liquidation of the company.

It had been a few years since I had darkened the door of the place. Children and grandchildren grew up and other options became available at discount stores and online.

While the signs said prices were as much as 30 percent off, much of the merchandise carried a 10 percent discount. Someone forgot to take down the help wanted signfrom the holidays.

Unless there was merchandise in the back, some shelves were already depleted. The large bicycle section largelyconsisted of empty racks.

Toys ‘R Us stuck with a largely successful formula of acting as if it was a toy discounter when it wasn’t. The cheesy name and plain-Jane appearance worked for at least six decades.

The faint hope persists of a savior coming along and reopeningsome of the stores. If so, the Christiana store might survive. Sadly, store founder Charles Lazarus passed away last week at 94.

If nothing changes, there will soon be one more fallen retailer in the strip center whose impressive list of former tenants includes the defunct Chi Chi’s Mexican restaurant chain, Borders books, and CompUSA.

Remaining business will still have a Geoffrey Drive address, a bow to the mascot of the once formidable retailer that seems destined to join the ranks of KB Toys and Zany Brainy.

Here’s hoping your Monday is off to a good start and you avoided the mess on I-95. The newsletter returns tomorrow. – Doug Rainey, publisher.

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