The well-known toy store chain has officially announced plans to close or sell all 800 of its U.S. stores.
The news, affecting as many as 33,000 jobs, comes six months after the retailer filed for bankruptcy. Reports indicate the company has been struggling to pay down nearly $8 billion in debt.
Customers with gift cards and other rewards saved up are asked to use them within the next 30 days as they will likely not be honored after that time.
The retailer also announced that this closure includes the company’s Babies R Us stores as well.
In a press release published to the Toys R Us website officials note “The Company disclosed that it is engaged in discussions with certain interested parties for a transaction that could combine up to 200 of the top performing U.S. stores with its Canadian operations.”
However, the company is seeking court approval to implement the liquidation of inventory in all the U.S. stores, subject to a right to recall any stores included in the proposed Canadian transaction.
Toys R Us Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dave Brandon, explained “I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the Company’s U.S. operations. We are therefore implementing an orderly process to shutter our U.S. operations and will pursue going concern sales or reorganizations of certain of our international businesses, while our other international businesses consider their options.”
Brandon continued, “There are many people and organizations who have remained in our corner every step along the way. I want to thank our extraordinary team members who helped build Toys R Us into a global brand. I also want to express my appreciation for my colleagues on our board who have continued to provide support to sustain the brand and our operations throughout the restructuring process. I would also like to thank our vendors who we owe a great deal of gratitude to for their decades of support. This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years.”
An exact date as to when stores will begin to close as not yet been announced.
Michaela Madison Reporting