Toys R Us store in Ipswich will remain open despite the company’s US arm’s struggles
Toys and games retailer Toys’R’Us says it is “business as usual” for its UK stores - including in Ipswich - despite the chain’s North American arm filing for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada.
Toys’R’Us, which has around 1,600 stores worldwide and nearly 65,000 employees, said most of its shops remained profitable and would operate “as usual” while it looks to restructure a 5.6billion US dollar (£3.6bn) debt mountain.
It also confirmed that its stores outside of North America, including the UK, Europe, Australia and a joint venture in Asia, were not affected by the so-called “Chapter 11” filing, which gives a company temporary protection from action by creditors to allow to reorganise.
The group has 110 stores in the UK, including one at the Copdock A12/A14 interchange on the edge of Ipswich, and more than 2,500 staff but it stressed that its European arm is a separate legal entity to the America business.
Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive of Toys’R’Us, said: “We are confident that we are taking the right steps to ensure that the iconic Toys’R’Us and Babies’R’Us brands live on for many generations.”
You may also want to watch:
He added: “As the holiday season approaches, our global team members are ready to serve the millions of kids and families who will be shopping with us.”
The New Jersey-based chain has secured more than 3bn US dollars (£2.2bn) in financing from a syndicate of lenders to help keep its stores open.
- 1 Body of man, 22, found in River Orwell
- 2 Ipswich man wanted for theft and fraud offences
- 3 Tim Hortons restaurant in Ipswich given green light
- 4 'Kind and loving' husband-to-be dies of lymphoma aged 27
- 5 Man left with three broken ribs after assault by group of men in Ipswich town centre
- 6 'Very traumatic' – Catalytic converter thieves threaten family
- 7 Boss blames furlough scheme for hiring woes
- 8 Ipswich MP calls for urgent action after hospital maternity report
- 9 'Disgraceful' obscene graffiti sprayed on skatepark and play equipment
- 10 Tesco opens new store in Ipswich town centre in August
Mr Brandon said plans to restructure its debt pile would “provide us with greater financial flexibility to invest in our business, continue to improve the customer experience in our physical stores and online, and strengthen our competitive position in an increasingly challenging and rapidly changing retail marketplace worldwide”.
The private equity-owned company has suffered falling like-for-like sales, with analysts saying it has failed to build up its online business sufficiently and lost out to competitors such as Amazon.
The group’s history dates back to the 1950s and it arrived in the UK in 1985. It has struggled with debt since private-equity firms Bain Capital, KKR & Co and Vornado Realty Trust took it private in a 6.6bn dollar buyout in 2005. It was being lined up for a stock market flotation, but the plans were scuppered by weak financial performance.