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Toys R Us to close all U.S. stores, including 9 in S.C.

Staff //March 15, 2018//

Toys R Us to close all U.S. stores, including 9 in S.C.

Staff //March 15, 2018//

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Toys R Us Inc. is planning to close all 735 of its remaining U.S. stores, six months after the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Wednesday’s announcement comes less than two months after the company said it would close 182 stores across the country, including the Babies R Us locations in North Rivers Shopping Center in North Charleston and Harbison Court in Columbia.

S.C. Toys R Us locations
S.C. Babies R Us locations
S.C. combined Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations

The company has seven other stores in South Carolina, including five Toys R Us locations and two locations that are a combined Toys R Us and Babies R Us.

According to motions filed in bankruptcy court (.pdf), 2017 holiday sales came in “well below worst-case projections,” with only $81 million in earnings in the fourth quarter of 2017. Earnings in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 2016 were $374 million and $347 million, respectively.

“I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the company’s U.S. operations,” Dave Brandon, chairman and CEO of Toys R Us Inc., said in a statement.

Toys R Us currently employs 30,000 people in retail stores and distribution centers across the country. According to the bankruptcy filing, the company has already issued employee termination notices.

“This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years,” Brandon said.

Toys R Us Inc. is also preparing to reorganize and sell its Canadian stores, according to the bankruptcy court filing. The company said that up to 200 of the best-performing U.S. stores could be included in the Canadian purchase, but “because time is of the essence to mitigate losses and maximize recoveries to U.S. stakeholders,” it will move forward with the liquidation of the U.S. stores while those discussions continue.

Plans for liquidation and going-out-of-business sales will be shared in the near future, the company said in a news release.

Toys R Us Inc. was founded in 1948 as a baby furniture retailer. The company went public in 1978 but was privatized in 2005 after Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. and Vornado Realty Trust acquired the company. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in September.