NEW JERSEY-  Toys R Us will be closing the doors of about 20 percent of its stores in the United States. The company reported that 180 of their 900 stores will be closing as a result of bankruptcy.

Tide PodsChairman and Chief Executive Officer David Brandon wrote Tuesday in a memo to customers, “The reinvention of our brands requires that we make tough decisions about our priorities and focus”. He went on to explain that the company’s sales have been in a swift decline since the Tide Pod Challenge recently went viral.

The company that once lead toy sales in the U.S. is now about $5 billion in debt. Mr. Brandon said “Once children started entertaining themselves by ingesting tide pods, they, along with their families, didn’t see a need to buy entertainment products from our stores”.

The closings will begin in February with going out of business sales beginning in the coming weeks. By mid-April, all of the 180 stores planned to be closed, will go dark.

The memo ends with CEO David Brandon stating, “The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings. We look forward to the day that the Tide Pod Challenge hurts enough children to scare the public back to buying our toys from our remaining stores”.

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