Toys “R” Us could begin the process of closing its U.S. stores as soon as next week.
The struggling retailer, which in January announced its intentions to shutter 180 of its 800 locations, declared bankruptcy in September and has not yet found a buyer or made a deal to restructure their debt, according to Bloomberg.
The company has not reported an annual profit since the 2013 fiscal year, owing in part to the growing power of online retailers such as Amazon. Weak holiday sales are one of the major reasons for Toys “R” Us’ current predicament, as even the sales of Star Wars toys — which are normally quite lucrative — were down this holiday season.
The news has also had a negative effect on several toy companies, including Hasbro, Mattel and Jakks Pacific, who all saw the value of their shares plunge on Friday morning, according to CNN Money. LEGO also reported its first sales drop in thirteen years earlier this week.
Toys “R” Us took to Twitter to offer a message to its customers, though it avoided confirming or denying the rumors surrounding store closures. “To our loyal customers: We’ve seen an amazing outpouring of love and support in recent days and we truly appreciate it,” the retailer wrote on Twitter. “Our stores are open for business, ready to bring joy to children wherever we can, and to help new and expecting parents navigate raising a family.”
To our loyal customers: We’ve seen an amazing outpouring of love and support in recent days and we truly appreciate it. Our stores are open for business, ready to bring joy to children wherever we can, and to help new and expecting parents navigate raising a family.
— ToysRUs (@ToysRUs) March 9, 2018
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