max temp: 3°C

min temp: 3°C


Workers at the Ipswich-branch Toys R Us breathe a sigh of relief

PUBLISHED: 16:22 21 December 2017

Toys R Us will remain open at the Copdock Interchange. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Toys R Us will remain open at the Copdock Interchange. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Workers at the Ipswich-branch of Toys R Us were able to breathe a sigh of relief yesterday after the troubled retail chain agreed a deal with its creditors.

A crucial agreement was reached with the pensions safety net scheme shortly before a vote on proposals to save the toy seller, avoiding the loss of 3,200 jobs and the closure of all its UK stores.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) had been set to vote against a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which would have forced the UK arm of Toys R Us into administration, unless the retailer paid £9million towards a £25m to £30m pensions shortfall.

The US-owned firm, whose parent company has filed for bankruptcy protection in America, was believed to be unable to meet that demand but has managed to reach an agreement to pay a larger sum over the next three years.

Malcolm Weir, the PPF’s director of restructuring and insolvency, said: “This offer goes a long way to addressing the PPF’s concerns and in de-risking the pension scheme, offering greater protection for the current and retired members in the pension scheme.”

In total, Toys R Us has agreed to pay £9.8m into the pension plan, made up of £3.8m in 2018, with a further £6m promised over 2019 and 2020.

Other creditors include the firm’s landlords who face rent cuts as part of the restructuring and, while the CVA will allow Toys R Us to stay afloat, at least 26 loss-making UK stores will still shut, with the loss of up to 800 jobs.

A number of other under-performing stores need to secure a rent reduction of at least 35% within seven months or face closure although the Ipswich branch, on the edge of the town by the A12-A14 interchange at Copdock, has been named among the company’s top-performing stores, making its future as secure as it can be under the circumstances.

Steve Knights, managing director of Toys R Us UK, said: “The vote in favour of the CVA represents strong support for our business plan and provides us with the platform we need to transform our business so that we can better serve our customers today and long into the future.”

Toys R Us has said trading has suffered as its warehouse-style stores are “too big and expensive to run”, while it has also struggled with online competition.

Test your knowledge on our county by taking part in our quiz.

Police are growing “increasingly concerned” for the welfare of a missing 52-year-old Suffolk man.

Bosses at the Eastern Enterprise Hub and University of Suffolk hope gaming and technology students will be inspired to pursue their games ideas, after it emerged the gaming industry is one of the fastest growing locally.

A Shotley father with five drink-driving convictions has been jailed for 36 weeks after taking his mother’s car without consent and crashing it into a hedge.

Snow is falling across Suffolk and Essex today, but weather experts predict it will soon turn into rain.

Trains between London and Norwich are being cancelled this morning as a result of engineering work not having been completed on time.

Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

Highways bosses have announced they will be carrying out a series of improvements to the road network across Suffolk and north Essex this week.

Kebab fans will be excited to hear a new fast food outlet that prides itself on making top quality versions of the takeaway staple is opening in Ipswich soon.

Drivers in Woodbridge have faced long delays this afternoon after a major route through the town became flooded.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24