After filing for bankruptcy protection last summer, Toys ‘R’ Us has announced plans to shut down 180 stores, or almost 20% of its total, Fortune reports. The article includes a list of stores targeted for closure.
Toys ‘R’ Us CEO Dave Brandon discussed the plans in an open letter to customers, writing; “We estimate store closing sales to begin in early February with the majority of locations closing mid-April 2018. During this time, we welcome you to take full advantage of the deep discounts and deals available.”
Fortune adds: “Toys ‘R’ Us on Monday night asked federal bankruptcy court in Richmond, Virginia for permission to close those stores, saying it has ‘faced a challenging commercial environment’ made worse, it claimed, by consumer preferences to online stores from brick and mortar stores.”
CNBC cites industry experts predicting more closures lie ahead for the company, which had what Toys ‘R’ Us described as a “very challenging” holiday season that followed a third quarter in which comparable sales fell by 7% in the U.S. The toy chain reportedly had a net loss of $862 million through the first three quarters of its fiscal year.
Commenting on the store closures for CNBC, Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink said: “We see this as the first phase of a more robust real estate clean up effort at TRU. The move has been anticipated, but the size of the closure and the timing was heavily debated.”