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Toys R Us Earnings Fall Short

February 25, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Toys R Us, Inc., the nation’s largest toy seller, Wednesday announced a management shakeup as it reported its 1997 earnings will fall short of expectations after a tough holiday season.

Robert Nakasone, who has been with Toys R US for 13 years, will become chief executive of the Paramus, N.J.-based company, replacing Michael Goldstein, who will become chairman.

Bruce Krysiak, who heads the discount chain Dollar General Corp., replaces Nakasone as president and chief operating officer. The company also named a new merchandising chief, Keith Van Beek, who presently heads Toys R Us Canada.

``The steps that the company has taken over the last few years have not been successful at stimulating sales and profit growth,″ said Sean McGowan, a toy industry analyst at Gerard Klauer Mattison. ``This new management team will have to rethink the strategies of how to get consumers to buy toys.″

Toys R Us said higher promotional and distribution costs weighed down its earnings for the year. The company expects to earn $1.70 per share for the year, below the $1.90 a share Wall Street analysts had anticipated.

Analysts also said the company came under intense pressure from competitors like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kmart Corp., which continue to steal market share.

``While our preliminary results indicate that we will report another year of record sales, it’s clear that we fell short of the earnings target we set for ourselves, which was to achieve record earnings,″ Nakasone said.

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