Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Arts&Culture | By Kristi Paul

Toys'R'Us to begin shutting all United Kingdom stores as hundreds face redundancy

Toys'R'Us to begin shutting all United Kingdom stores as hundreds face redundancy

Toys R Us has informed employees that the company plans to sell or close all of its USA stores, according to a person familiar with the plans who spoke anonymously because the official liquidation filing has not been publicly disclosed yet.

Today the company informed 33,000 employees it would be selling or closing all of its 700 US stores, according to published reports.

There were more than 200 Babies R Us stores as of past year. In the United States, the company told employees closures would likely occur over time, and not all at once, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

Simon Thomas, joint administrator, said: "It is therefore with great regret that we have made the hard decision to ... proceed with a controlled store closure programme".

It also comes about a week after reports started to circulate about the toy retailer's future as no buyer appeared during its bankruptcy. But what that does mean is that the country will soon be littered with giant, vacant, blue and yellow Toys "R" Us superstores to remind us all of the emptiness of consumerism.

Big-box retailers like Toys "R" Us have struggled to operate brick and mortar businesses with competitors like who have dominated in online sales for almost a decade. "And if they close, now what are we going to do?" Private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR, together with real estate investor Vornado Realty Trust, took over Toys R Us and loaded the company with debt.

Toys R Us was put into administration after attempts to sell the business failed and some stores could shout in the next few days.

At its heyday, Toys R Us had a towering flagship store in New York's Times Square (now closed and home to Old Navy) and a ubiquitous icon, Geoffrey the Giraffe.

The chain has one store in College Station. That includes Babies R Us-branded locations.

Indeed, the company had already laid off 67 people at its headquarters on Wednesday and was planning to close 25 stores the next day, resulting in another 541 layoffs, with the remaining 75 shops expected to be wound down over the next six weeks.

The company was founded in 1948. Toys R Us got to terminate the deal and set up its own online operation, but it never caught back up. If the company closes all of its stores, it may no longer let customers cash them in. If the liquidation goes through as planned, it'll bring an end to a 70-year-old chain that once dominated both its market and the dreams of kids.

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