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Filling Vacant Toys R Us Stores Proves Hard Going

Former Toys R Us building in Emeryville

A year after famous toy retailer Toys R Us went into administration, nearly two-thirds of its UK stores remain vacant, highlighting the difficulty of finding new tenants for big-box retail units.

According to analysis by Radius Data Exchange, 64% of the retailer’s 3M SF of UK stores that became vacant in February 2018 are still empty.

The South West and Wales have seen the highest number of stores re-let, while the East Midlands has had the fewest.

Value retailers like B&M Bargains have leased the largest number of stores, with 11.

A legal battle is continuing over the ownership of a big chunk of Toys R Us’ former estate. In November Bisnow revealed that lenders to a portfolio of 24 stores and a distribution unit with £263M of debt secured against them had moved to put the company that owns the assets into administration.

The company, ultimately owned by Lancashire-based property investor Tim Knowles, has contested the appointment, and the matter is awaiting a judgement from the High Court. PIMCO is the major holder of the debt.

Related Topics: PIMCO, Toys 'R' Us, Tim Knowles