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Geoffrey the Giraffe waves sad goodbye as Toys R Us closes for good

A photo posted to Facebook showed the mascot with his suitcase packed and waving goodbye to an empty store.
/ Source: TODAY

The age of Toys "R" Us is coming to an end this week, and mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe already has his bags packed.

The iconic toy store chain and subject of kids' idle daydreams for generations is closing its remaining 200 stores in the United States on Friday after filing for bankruptcy in September.

A photo posted on Facebook earlier this month by an employee of a store that closed in Waterbury, Connecticut, showed mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe holding his suitcase and waving goodbye at an empty store, summing up the glum ending.

An employee named Rene Johnpiere posted the shot of Geoffrey as part of a series of photos from the last hours of the location where she worked.

The photo of Geoffrey left people mourning the end of a store that was a source of joy for generations of kids.

Toys "R" Us will have closed 735 stores in the U.S. overall by Friday after 70 years in business. The company will continue its operations in some other countries such as Canada, CNN reported.

The company announced in March that it was closing or selling all of its stores, putting up to 31,000 workers into unemployment.

Stores are featuring steep price markdowns, which vary by location, as they liquidate inventory this week in advance of the closings.

The company stopped taking orders through its website in March, and was no longer accepting gift cards and coupons in April.

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Sales during the holiday season were not enough to save the company, which noted in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in September that it had $5 billion in debt.

Competition from online giant Amazon, as well as big-box retailers such as Target and Walmart, also contributed to the downfall of a store where generations of children often got their first bike, their favorite action figure or the newest video game.

Charles Lazarus, the World War II veteran who founded Toys "R" Us in 1948 and opened the first toy store in 1957, died at 94 in March, just days after the company announced it was closing all of its stores.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.