ATLANTA, GA— Toys R Us, which in January announced plans to shutter nearly 200 stores across the country, now is preparing to possibly close all of its U.S. locations, including two dozen Georgia stores. Multiple reports have the liquidation process beginning as soon as this week.
Bloomberg reported that although a final decision has yet to be made, the bankrupt company appears increasingly likely to liquidate its assets after failing to restructure its debt with lenders or find a buyer. If the chain doesn’t find a buyer, Toys R Us is expected to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation this week, says USA Today.
The Wall Street Journal said people close to the matter revealed the possibility of U.S. closures developed after a weak holiday season. The agency said an official announcement could come Monday.
“The plan to shut down the stores and liquidate the U.S. operations is one of several scenarios in play, one of the people said, and while some lenders are pushing that route, others want to find other options for Toys ‘R’ Us to continue operations,” according to this report in the WSJ.
News of the possible closures first broke Thursday, and while Toys R Us declined to comment on the issue, they did thank their customers via a message on Twitter.
“To our loyal customers: We’ve seen an amazing outpouring of love and support in recent days and we truly appreciate it,” the company said on Twitter. “Our stores are open for business, ready to bring joy to children wherever we can, and to help new and expecting parents navigate raising a family.”
The company began the year with more than 800 stores across the country under the Toys R Us and Babies R us monikers. In January, Toys R Us said it would close 180 locations, including stores in Woodbridge and Newport News.
The Georgia locations are:
- East Newnan
- Warner Robins
The demise of Toys R Us would be a significant blow to the toy industry as the chain makes up about 15 percent of American toy revenue.
The New Jersey-based Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in September amid slumping sales and mounting debt, which grew to about $5 billion. The once-popular chain faced increasing competition from Amazon, Walmart and Target. The chain was initially set to close about 180 of its stores, or about 20 percent.
Toys R Us also had a bad spell in November when a glitch allowed customers to “stack” three coupon codes for a total discount of 60 percent off their online order. Toys R Us learned of the glitch and cancelled orders placed using the glitch.
— Patch editorcontributed to this report; photo by Autumn Johnson, Patch staff