Toys ‘R’ Us Founder Charles Lazarus, who combined supermarket-style service and retail success that fought high debt and fierce competition.
There have been many sad moments for Toys ‘R’ Us in recent weeks, and none more heart-breaking than today’s news about the passing of their beloved founder, Charles Lazarus. He visited his firm in New Jersey just last year and he will always be grateful and known for his positive energy, passion for the customer and love for children everywhere.
When he opened his first toys-specific store, in Rockville, Maryland, he went with a shorter name, Toys ‘R’ Us, to maximize the size of letters on the highway sign.
Lazarus had taken the company into public in 1978 and made Toys ‘R’ Us a brand that left an impression on generations of “Toys ‘R’ Us kids.” Lazarus stepped away as Chairman and CEO in 1994.
He had earned more than $60 million in 1987, according to Forbes magazine, making him No. 1 in its ranking of highest paid executives. Stock options accounted for about $56 million.
In 1948, after World War II as a cryptographer, he took over his father’s store and replaced the bicycles with baby furniture. He switched again, to toys, to get customers to return more frequently.