Toys R Us' Canadian Stores Have A $300M Bidder
Toys R Us may survive in Canada, thanks to the latest twist in its bankruptcy saga.
Publicly traded Canadian investor Fairfax Financial Holdings has submitted a $300M bid to buy all of the retailer's stores in the country out of bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports. Toys R Us has reportedly requested to name Fairfax as the lead bidder, which would set the auction's floor at $300M.
The bankruptcy auction for the Canadian stores is to be held in New York on April 23, where a higher bidder could theoretically emerge. Liquidation now seems to be assured for Toys R Us' 735 U.S. stores after the retailer and its lawyers rejected an $890M bid from MGA Entertainment CEO Issac Larian for all of its locations in the U.S. and Canada. The bid valued the Canadian stores at $215M, and was shot down for being below market value.
With Toys R Us, Bon-Ton and other retailers going belly-up in the U.S., an estimated 9,000 retail locations are expected to close by the end of the year, according to a Cushman & Wakefield report. That number would exceed the 8,500 closures in 2017, which was already greater than the number of stores closed during the Great Recession.
Toys R Us and Bon-Ton are among the retailers that had sizable presences in secondary, tertiary and rural markets, as well as in Class-B or lower shopping centers. Such areas and properties will continue to see the most losses from the changing retail landscape, while better-positioned centers benefit from big-box vacancies by installing experiential retailers or splitting the footprint into multiple stores that pay higher rents per square foot.
Though the wave of store closures is likely to continue, and likely accelerate in rural areas according to Cushman & Wakefield, consumer spending overall has been incredibly strong in the past few quarters, increasing the gap between the haves and the have-nots of retail.