Toys “R” Us Inc to close 180 stores in the U.S.

Emerging from bankruptcy protection, the firm is pushing to reinvent its brick-and-mortar stores as well as rejig its website to take on more e-commerce.

Specialty retailer Toys “R” Us Inc stated it will be closing one-fifth of its stores in the U.S. in the coming months as it struggles to emerge from one of its biggest bankruptcy.

In a letter posted at its website, David Brandon the firm’s Chief Executive has stated that the closure of 180 of its U.S. stores will begin from early February and will continue upto mid-April.

Toys “R” Us had filed for bankruptcy protection just ahead of the crucial holiday season in the U.S. and in Canada in order to restructure a $5 billion long-term debt; the exercise had cast a shadow over the future of its 1,600 stores and 64,000 employees.

In a letter to customers, Melanie Teed-Murch, president of the Canadian unit of Toys “R” Us stated that all 83 stores in the country will remain open.

With consumers preferring to shop online, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, including Toys ‘R’ Us, are struggling to entice customers to visit their stores. The retailer is now taking more steps in this direction.

Going by bankruptcy court papers, the specialty retailer plans on shuttering unprofitable locations, invest in its stores, improve its website and its loyalty programs. It has set aside more than $400 million out of the $3.1 billion it has received in bankruptcy loans, for sprucing up nearly 900 stores in the next 3 years.

The Wayne, New Jersey-based firm aims to exit bankruptcy in 2018.

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