Loss making Toys R Us announces 26 store closures

Retailer Toys ‘R’ Us has today announced it will be closing 26 stores across the UK, putting some 800 jobs at risk.

The toy chain, which has operations across the East Midlands, will be closing a number of its stores in early 2018, due to them being ‘too big and expensive to run’.

The retailer is considering a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) leaving debts of £450m with unsecured creditors receiving as little as 1.2p in each pound owed to creditors.

Toys ‘R’ Us, which currently employs around 3,200 people in the UK, has said it plans to continue to sell toys online and its smaller, ‘more interactive’ stores will remain open.

It has not yet been announced which sites will be affected.

Steve Knights, Managing Director of Toys R Us UK, says: “Like many UK retailers in today’s market environment, we need to transform our business so that we have a platform that can better meet customers’ evolving needs.

“Our newer, smaller, more interactive stores are in the right shopping locations and are trading well, while our new website has generated significant growth in online and click-and-collect sales.

“But the warehouse style stores we opened in the 1980’s and 1990’s, while successful in the early days, are too big and expensive to run in the current retail environment.

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