The retail chain Toys R Us Inc. has announced that it will begin shutting down its operations, closing all of its 735 remaining U.S. stores.The Wayne, N.J.-based company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September and had initially stated it would work with its creditors to restructure the $5 billion of long-term debt on its balance sheet. However, the company was unable to either find a buyer or conclude a deal to restructure its debt.
Toys R Us did not provide a timeline on when it would be shuttering its U.S. stores. Locally, the chain has retail operations in Danbury, Norwalk, White Plains, Yonkers, Yorktown, Nanuet and Poughkeepsie.
According to CNBC, many of Toys R Us stores are leased back to a separate entity created by the company known as Toys R Us Property Co., or Propco. Real estate investment trusts Kimco, Brixmor and DDR own several stores, while the remainder are owned directly by Toys R Us.
The company also stated it was pursuing a reorganization and potential sale of its operations in Asia and Europe. In a statement, the company alluded to “discussions with certain interested parties for a transaction that could combine up to 200 of the top performing U.S. stores with its Canadian operations,” but provided no further details.
“I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the company’s U.S. operations,” said Dave Brandon, chairman and CEO. “We are therefore implementing an orderly process to shutter our U.S. operations and will pursue going concern sales or reorganizations of certain of our international businesses, while our other international businesses consider their options.”