Toys"R"Us to close 26 stores in UK"

  • Toys

Toys"R"Us to close 26 stores in UK"

While the store at Kingsway Retail Park has not been earmarked for closure, a spokeswoman for Toys "R" Us said that it was "reviewing options".

Toys "R" Us, which now employs around 3,200 people in the United Kingdom, has said it plans to continue to sell toys online and its smaller, "more interactive" stores will remain open. The company hopes to redeploy any staff members from the Cambridge store, just off Newmarket Road, where they can.

When an event triggers a bigger intervention, as with Toys R Us, a more realistic closure plan can emerge and this is what we are seeing here.

The retailer was loaded with debt in a buyout more than a decade ago and failed to keep consumers from abandoning its stores for the lower prices and convenience of online shopping.

On 21 December, Toys R Us will ask its creditors to approve a company voluntary agreement (CVA), an insolvency procedure used by retailers to close loss-making stores.

The British arm of the toy chain, plans to close at least 26 stores and shed up to 800 jobs.

In a statement released today, the company said that it plans to revamp its business in response to "evolving needs of customers in today's United Kingdom retail market". "The decision to propose this CVA was a hard one, but we determined it is the best path forward to make essential changes to the business", Knights said.

The company has 105 shops in total, including its newer, smaller shops which the company says have been trading well.

Accounts for the year to January show a turnover of £418million, on which it made an operating loss of £0.5million.

Larger out of town stores are expected to be hit hardest, with one source stating that the warehouse-style stores that opened in the 1980s and 1990s are too big to operate profitably.

"The business has been lossmaking in recent years and so we need to take strong and decisive action to accelerate the transformation".

The business now employs 3,200 people, and as part of the CVA process, "it anticipates a requirement to make redundancies".It is though around 800 people will be affected. "Our teams will continue to play a key role in turning our business around".

Toys R Us in the United Kingdom is owned by its USA namesake, but run as a separate financial entity.