March 19, 2018

Portsmouth Toys R Us set to close within six weeks

14 March 2018, 10:21 | Joann Bryant

Toys R Us in Oldbury West Midlands is still open although the staff do not know when it will close

Toys R Us in Oldbury West Midlands is still open although the staff do not know when it will close

A Toys R Us Store in Lancaster County.

Toys "R" Us stores will disappear from Britain's shopping streets within six weeks, joint administrators for the retailer said on Wednesday, announcing plans to close the group's remaining 75 shops.

Simon Thomas, joint administrator, said Moorfields' had negotiated with 120 different parties, majority interested in buying up stock, and half a dozen looking at the whole business.

The administrators said that Toys R Us had outstanding liabilities of around £300m, including a £70-90m pension fund shortfall.

Administrators Moorfields was appointed to Toys "R" Us last month, as it started to try and find a way to pay the companies' 15 million dollar tax bill.

The six week deadline for closures is expected to happen to Maplin as well if a buyer isn't identified to save the electronics store.

"It is therefore with great regret that we have made the hard decision to. proceed with a controlled store closure programme", Thomas said.

However, it added that no suitor materialised in what is proving to be a dire time for high street retailers.

Professor Heiner Evanschitzky, co-director of Aston Centre for Retail Insights based at Aston Business School, said: "A key problem for Toys R Us was a lack of clear focus: is it a big box discount store for toys, a store with a vast assortment of toys, a leader in quality and service?" Consumers rightly asked why they should bother going there instead of buying online'.

Other companies that have run into difficulties lately include Maplins, New Look, Jamie Oliver, Byron and Prezzo.

The Toys "R" Us branch in Reading opened before Christmas in 2017, after moving from its original store in Kenavon Drive, where 765 homes are being built.

Thomas also said that stock at those remaining stores would be discounted even further, and encourages customers to "take advantage of the special offers available in store while stock levels remain high". All the best to those who find themselves out of work.

Toys "R" Us recently responded to those reports, though it didn't confirm or deny them outright.

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