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Babies R Us stores begin closing next week, gift registries could soon follow

Posted at 4:23 PM, Mar 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-21 12:37:15-04

Details are still emerging about the future online presence of Toys R Us and Babies R Us, as the company continues the bankruptcy process in court.

The company says gift cards and store credit must be used in the next 30 days.

One of the biggest questions that remains is the future of gift registries and baby registries. Those will stay up for a few more weeks, but possibly not much longer.

New and expecting mothers in the Tampa Bay Area are fearing the impact.

"Babies R Us usually has everything for babies," says Aidelis Rubiani. "So it's a little scary," she adds, seeing the rows of empty shelves at the store on West Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa.

The sign on the store announces that there are just 11 days until the store is closed for good. 

Rubiani registered with Babies R Us for her first daughter, but now, expecting a second child soon, she doesn't yet know where she'll turn.

"I was going to do Babies R Us but then they close," Rubiani said. "Now I have to go all the way to Brandon to go to Buy Buy Baby which is a completely different store."

Buy Buy Baby, which is owned by Bed Bath & Beyond, has four stores in Central Florida, but only one in the Tampa Bay Area, in Brandon.

Rubiani and other new and expecting moms say the impact will go well beyond baby gift registries.

Some believe online shopping, like Amazon.com, won't be a suitable replacement for filling daily needs.

And they add that stores like Walmart and Target don't currently have the wide selection Babies R Us has.

"It's not always easier because you don't know what you're going to get until you get it," says Rubiani.

"What if it's messed up and you have to send it back, and what if you need it right away?"