Toys R Us stores ‘could begin closing as soon as next week’
PUBLISHED: 16:20 09 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:25 14 March 2018
Copyright: Archant 2018
Toys R Us stores could begin closing and staff could be made redundant as soon as next week, as hopes of finding a buyer for the stricken chain fade.
The toy chain appointed Moorfields Advisory to oversee an administration at the end of February after the firm failed to find a last-minute rescuer.
Moorfields said it would begin an “orderly wind-down” of stores and it is now understood that the insolvency specialist is poised to close the first batch as it runs down stock, with hundreds of jobs set to be lost.
It is thought Moorfields will begin with the closure of at least 26 loss-making stores earmarked late last year, when Toys R Us pushed through a restructuring before its demise.
That included the Cambridge store, though its other branches in Norwich and Ipswich were deemed to be performing more strongly and were spared the axe at that time.
Toys R Us is one of the nation’s biggest toy retailers, employing more than 3,000 across 100 stores in the UK.
Moorfields said at the time of the chain’s collapse that it is making “every effort” to secure a buyer for all or part of the business, but sources indicated that this was unlikely in what is proving to be a dire time for high street retailers.
If no buyer emerges for the business, then stores will be sold off piecemeal or closed down.
The retail sector has had a dismal start to 2018, with the collapse of Toys R Us and Maplin and a host of firms undergoing painful restructurings, including New Look and eateries run by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, as well as Byron and Prezzo.
High street chains across the board have been hit hard by falling consumer spending, soaring Brexit-fuelled inflation and competition from online rivals.
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