Jorge Villalba—Getty Images
By Gina Martinez
June 29, 2018

A picture of Geoffrey the Giraffe leaving Toys “R” Us is pulling on the heartstrings of former Toys “R” Us kids as the chain closes for good Friday.

Former employee Rene Johnpiere posted the photo Wednesday of Geoffrey the Giraffe, the popular mascot of the franchise, with a suitcase waving goodbye in the middle of an empty aisle of a Toys “R” Us. The image has been shared more than 300,000 times and has left many online feeling nostalgic and heartbroken.

People have turned to social media to express their sadness.

The toy store opened its doors 70 years ago. At its prime, it was the go-to location for kids to get the newest dolls, gadgets and toys. In 2017, Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy and in March 2018 the company announced it was going out of business and closing all U.S. stores.

Toys “R” Us posted a goodbye message on it website, encouraging its former customers to “play on.”

“Thanks to each of you who shared your amazing journey to (and through) parenthood with us, and to every grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother and sister who’s built a couch-cushion rocket ship, made up a hero adventure, or invented something goeey. Promise us just this one thing: Don’t ever grow up. Play on!”

Write to Gina Martinez at gina.martinez@timeinc.com.

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