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Toys R Us closing liquidation sales begin

A customer walks into a Toys R Us store in Dallas, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. Toys R Us has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The Toys R Us liquidation sale is set to begin Thursday.

A representative for the store announced earlier this week that most U.S. stores will start the sale, the Lynchburg store wrote on Instagram that they are postponing the sale for now.

The store closings across the country mean that 31,000 employees will ultimately be laid off.

CEO David Brandon told employees last week the company's plan is to liquidate all of its U.S. stores, according to an audio recording of the meeting obtained by The Associated Press, but this week toy company executive Isaac Larian an other investors pledged a total of $200 million, with hopes to raise more in crowdfunding, in a bid to save more than half of the 735 Toys R Us stores.

Larian says he and the other investors, which he declined to name, believe that saving part of Toys R Us will be good for the toy industry, customers and workers.

If as many as 400 stores can be saved, it is Larian's hope that a third of the 130,000 jobs he sees as lost could be rescued.

A spokesperson for Toys R Us told USA Today in an email that the stores plan to honor gift cards for the next 30 days.

"Use those gift cards ASAP," the Better Business Bureau said on its website in advice for customers of bankrupt companies. "Businesses that have entered into the liquidation process will not be around for very long and BBB advises consumers who are holding gift cards spend them as soon as possible or risk getting stuck with a worthless piece of plastic."

Toys R Us was once the country's leader in toys but has failed to adapt to the digital world and big-box retailers.

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The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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