Toys“R”Us to Shutter a Fifth of its US Stores
Toys“R”Us said yesterday that it will close about one-fifth of its stores in the United States in the coming months, as the toy store chain tries to emerge from one of the largest ever bankruptcies by a specialty retailer. The closure of about 180 U.S. stores, a move that still needs court approval, will begin in early February and continue until mid-April, Toys“R”Us CEO David Brandon said in a letter on the company's website, which has since been taken down. The retailer added that several existing locations will be co-branded as Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores.
Total Retail's Take: The fact that Toys"R'Us is closing stores was expected. The retailer filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the 2017 holiday season to restructure $5 billion of long-term debt, casting doubts over the future of its 64,000 employees and nearly 1,600 stores. Over the last few years, Toys"R"Us has faced increased competition from companies like Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, and Target, and despite its focus of late on improving customers’ in-store and online shopping experiences, it has struggled to meet their needs. Some analysts have already speculated that Target is positioned to be the biggest winner as Toys"R'Us closes its U.S. stores, considering the big-box retailer's proximity to the toy chain's locations.