Toys R Us has announced the closure of 20% of its U.S. stores as part of an ongoing strategy to turn the company around in bankruptcy.
Struggling toy retailer to pull the plug on wide swath of stores
The iconic Wayne, New Jersey-based toy retailer announced that it will shutter up to 182 U.S. stores in a letter from CEO Dave Brandon on its website.
Brandon says store closing sales are likely to begin in early February. The bulk of the closures are expected to take place by mid-April.
Some closures may be avoided if the store can negotiate more favorable lease terms.
But as it stands, the following stores are slated for closure at this time according to a filed court motion:
In total, Toys R Us operates nearly 1,600 stores toy stores and Babies R Us locations worldwide and employs 64,000 people. Some 880 stores are located in the United States, Puerto Rico and Guam.
But the news isn’t all bad
Brandon noted in his letter that Toys R Us is still open for business and has plans to right its ship.
The CEO says Toys R US shoppers can look forward to “compelling promotions” and “an improved loyalty program” in 2018. The latter will be designed to woo more shoppers with personalized communications via email, online and social media.
In addition, Reuters reports that Toys R Us will throw $400 million in bankruptcy loans at its remaining stores over the next three years. The goal is to create more in-store experiences and raise employee compensation in an effort to fend off the growing threat from Amazon and regional toy sellers.
Toys R Us also says it plans to remodel a number of locations through converting them into co-branded Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.
Finally, Brandon says that Babies R Us and Toys R Us will continue to sell and accept gift cards as usual.