By Brian Conlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
8:02 AM EST, January 27, 2012
Ten large red signs hanging outside theToys 'R' Usstore in the One Mile West Shopping Center at 6600 Baltimore National Pike tell the story.
The signs announce that the store, which opened late in 1969, will close next month.
"This location is closing at the end of February due to the end of the company's lease term for this property," Toys 'R' Us spokeswoman Katelyn Leondi wrote in an email.
Inside the store on Jan. 25, it looked as if many customers had taken advantage of the store-wide sale that offered products for up to 40 percent off.
Entire sections of shelves were barren and signs directing customers to a particular section could no longer be trusted.
Many items were displaced, an employee said, because the shelves had been picked through and filled with whatever they had left.
Several signs inside the store explained that even the fixtures, furniture and equipment were for sale.
Striking while they had the opportunity, about a dozen customers in the afternoon on Jan. 25 looked for bargains throughout the store.
Catonsville resident Tasha Turner walked out of the store with a small bag of Fisher Price toys and some necessities, like a brush to clean her baby's bottles.
"I have a 4-month-old, so obviously coming to Toys 'R' Us, that span of life is new to me," Turner said. "I'm somewhat disappointed (that it is closing)."
The store currently employs about three dozen employees, Leondi wrote, and the company is attempting to place them "at area 'R' Us locations."
A sign on the front of the store directed customers to the nearest Toys 'R' Us locations, in Columbia, Glen Burnie and Owings Mills.
The next closest locations to Catonsville are combination Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us stores in Towson, a Toys 'R' Us in Baltimore and a Babies 'R' Us in Pasadena, according to the company's website.
A Babies 'R' Us store is located less than a half mile away from the Catonsville store on Baltimore National Pike.
Asked where she would shop for toys after the store closes, Turner said, "Babies 'R' Us is still going to be here.
"In terms of Toys 'R' Us, I'm just going to have to go to the one in Columbia," she said.
Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us have 879 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, Leondi wrote, and the company also has stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions.
"We've enjoyed the Catonsville community for many years and will continue to look for nearby locations to provide consumers with the products and services that Toys 'R' Us offers," Leondi wrote.
A woman leaving the store with her friend alongside a basket stuffed with toys and other items, said she would miss it.
"I'm sorry to see it go," said the woman, who declined to identify herself. "It's been here forever."