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Shoppers arrive for liquidation sale, but Toys ‘R’ Us says ‘not today’

SHORT PUMP, Va. -- You are going to have to wait a little longer to shop the Toys "R" Us liquidation sales.

The company had said it expected the sales to start Thursday.

But there's been a delay, a company spokesperson told CNNMoney Thursday morning.

"There were a lot of people out here waiting and when they opened the doors the lady was standing there like 'there are no liquidation sales today' and people seemed bummed," disappointed shopper Kathryn Snead said.

The company now expects sales to likely start Friday.

A day late for parents who made a special trip Thursday to the Short Pump Toys "R" Us for the sale and a dose of nostalgia.

"I grew up walking around Toys 'R' Us and I dreamed of all the toys," disappointed shopper Erin Panchision said. "My son has never been to see all the toys they had, so I thought it would be fun to come before they close."

The iconic toy giant announced last week that it will shut or sell all of its 735 US stores.

"It will be quick," said Chuck Tatelbaum, a director with Tripp Scott, a Florida law firm, on how quickly the shelves will empty. "No more than 60 days, closer to 30 days."

The more popular and favorite toys tend to move the fastest, and inventory is likely already slim.

"The [stores] haven't gotten a lot of new inventory in the last month or two, so a lot of the popular things have probably already sold out," said Tatelbaum.

If you have a Toys "R" Us gift card and Endless Earnings e-gift card, you should also hurry.

The retailer will honor these forms of payment until April 20. Stores will no longer accept coupons or other rewards.

Stores will accept returns on products purchased before the liquidation for the next 30 days. All purchases made after liquidation sales begin are final, which means they cannot be returned or exchanged.

If you are planning on going to the store for one last walk up and down the aisles to reminisce could face a different reality.

"People will go for one last time, but I am not sure it will translate into buying," said Tatelbaum. "I think you are going to find a general malaise — not happy and joyful employees ... this is going to be almost like a wake."

The company has been posting job openings recently for temporary positions to help during the liquidation process.

But the store closings mean that around 31,000 employees will ultimately be laid off.