Toys R Us files for bankruptcy ahead of holidays

Posted September 21, 2017

America's largest toy stores chain, which has around 1,600 stores worldwide and almost 65,000 employees, said most of its shops remained profitable and would operate "as usual" while it looks to restructure a 5.6 billion U.S. dollar (£3.6 billion) debt mountain.

Toys R Us wants to use its bankruptcy filing as a way to transform its stores into "interactive spaces".

Toys "R" Us Inc, the largest toy store chain in the US, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, as it struggled to pay billions in debt. "Together with our investors, our objective is to work with our debtholders and other creditors to restructure the $5 billion of long-term debt on our balance sheet". Forbes reports the company has been "overleveraged" since 2005, when it went private in a buyout.

Jon Copestake, chief retail and consumer goods analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said the bankruptcy filing has come as "little surprise". Toys R Us' Canadian subsidiary intends to seek similar protection under the Ontario Superior Court of Justice's CCAA.

Toys "R" Us is focused on continuing to provide the best quality, value and selection in the toy and baby categories and outstanding service whenever, wherever and however you choose to shop with us this season and beyond.

"I've always said that if there's no Toys "R" Us, there is no toy business".

The Chapter 11 filing comes ahead of the all-important Christmas season, which makes up a large chunk of the group's annual sales. " Perhaps Toys R Us should have grown up with the world of retail and put a much greater focus on e-commerce as the rest of retail and shoppers have increasingly has moved in this direction". Stores are open and our web stores and other online platforms will remain up and running.

Toys "R" Us, the largest specialty USA toy seller, filed for bankruptcy on Monday after some of its vendors stopped shipping to them.

"The past decade has seen a dramatic change in the domestic toy market with new channels, increased competition, and new technology all having a deleterious impact on the sector and traditional toy stores". Sometimes this results in the company returning stronger than before, but there are cases where stores close down during restructuring.

"Foreign suppliers are, in fact, given an advantage because they don't abide by the law, whereas Canadian companies that abide by the law are not being paid", said Brzezinski, adding that the ruling affects US suppliers as well, under North American treaty agreements.

How long has Toys "R" Us been around?

Second, Toys "R" Us has not helped itself. The toy retailer represents about 10 to 20 percent of the Chinese supplier's sales.

During the times before the Internet (some might call this the Dark Ages), kids had to find out what games and consoles to get from friends or from the kiosks that Toys R Us had.