Playtime's Over: Toys R Us To Shutter All U.S., U.K. Stores
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Toys R Us CEO David Brandon told staff on a conference call Wednesday that the chain will shutter or sell all U.S. locations in the next several months.
The shutdown of its U.S. business could put up to 33,000 people out of work, the Wall Street Journal reports, and would mark one of the largest retail liquidations on record since Sports Authority’s bankruptcy filing in 2016 — which led to the closure of 460 stores and 14,500 layoffs.
The chain, which has roughly 700 U.S. stores remaining in its portfolio (including Babies R Us locations), has grappled with a $5B debt load it has tried to restructure to pay off creditors. The company had high hopes it could redeem ailing sales during the holidays, but unexpectedly poor performance last year has forced it toward liquidation.
Failed attempts to find a buyer for its U.K. stores has resulted in the closure of those 100 locations as well, the BBC reports.
Operations in France, Spain, Poland and Australia will likely be shut down as well, Brandon said, and stores within Canada, Central America and Asia are also on the selling block. The retailer is considering including 200 U.S. stores in a deal to secure a buyer for its Canadian business. Toys R Us has about 800 stores remaining outside of the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports.