Monday, 11 December, 2017

Cambridge Toys "R" Us set to close in 2018

Hundreds of jobs at risk as Toys R Us proposes UK store closures Toys R US eyes UK store closures
Cecilia Poole | 06 December, 2017, 00:30

Toys "R" Us, which now employs around 3,200 people in the United Kingdom, has said it plans to continue to sell toys online and its smaller, "more interactive" stores will remain open.

The UK based retailer will soon announce, on Monday, its plans for the closure of about a quarter of its stores.

Toys "R" Us looks to be set to close 26 of its stores across the United Kingdom next year, putting 800 jobs at risk. "We will continue to honour gift cards and "Take Time To Pay" agreements and there will be no change to our returns policy".

It said that it would be instigating a so-called "Company Voluntary Arrangement" under which it will seek creditor approval to shut outlets in order to save costs.

Mr Knights said the closures had been "a hard decision" but said the company needed to take "strong and decisive action" to try and turn around the business.

It now employs 3,200 people and said it would, where possible, aim to redeploy staff affected by the shop closures.

The chain has been loss-making for seven out of the past eight years, with the most recent accounts filed at Companies House showing an operating loss of £500,000 on sales of £418m in the year to January.

In September Bloomberg reported that Toys "R" Us Inc in the United States filed for bankruptcy. The CVA, which has to be approved by its creditors, could result in the loss of up to 800 jobs.

When an event triggers a bigger intervention, as with Toys R Us, a more realistic closure plan can emerge and this is what we are seeing here.

"The decision to propose this CVA was a hard on, but we determined it is the best path forward to make essential changes to the business".

Mr Knights added: "We recognise this process will affect many of our team members and their families, so we are committed to keeping all of our staff informed throughout this process".

Alvarez & Marsal is restructuring advisor for Toys R Us, while Kirkland & Ellis is principal legal counsel.

The company's restructure comes amid a tough run-up to Christmas, traditionally the retail sector's busiest period of the year.

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