Santa Claus came early to the Toys R Us store in Raleigh, NC, on Friday, even as 800 Toys R Us stores across the country prepared to close their doors for good. According to CBS, an anonymous good Samaritan paid $1 million to purchase all the toys that remained in the Raleigh store, so instead of selling the last remaining toys to last-minute shoppers, the staff put a “closed” sign on the door and spent the last day boxing up toys for the buyer. Shoppers who showed up hoping for bargains didn’t seem put out when they arrived and were told that the toys had been sold to a donor. “Oh wow, that’s nice,” said Vivian Smith, when she heard the news.
The toy store chain, which opened in 1948 as Children’s Bargain Town, per CNBC, filed for bankruptcy in September and announced in January that it would close 180 stores, according to the Deseret News. In February it announced that an additional 200 stores would close, and on March 14, the company confirmed that all stores in the US would be closing, per Newsweek. The company is continuing to operate stores in Europe and Australia, as well as 255 licensed stores and joint venture partnerships in Asia, which were not part of the bankruptcy filing. Meanwhile, shoppers in Raleigh would like to thank the mysterious donor. “I like the idea of donating the toys. That’s pretty rad,” customer Dan Paulson told CBS. “Maybe it’s Bill Gates,” another shopper quipped. (Read more Toys "R" Us stories.)