Sad, yet somewhat expected news today – The UK arm of Toys R Us has gone into administration.
The toy retailer has experienced troubling times in recent months – both in the UK and the US – with stores closing down as a result of financial problems. According to the BBC, administrators have now been appointed to oversee the operation of stores after the toy retailer failed to secure a buyer.
Joint administrator, Simon Thomas, said: “Whilst this process is likely to affect many Toys R Us staff, whether some or all of the stores will close remains to be decided.”
All 105 existing Toys R Us stores will remain open for now, but the process of winding down the business will begin shortly. Customers with gift cards are being advised to spend them as soon as possible.
The retailer’s online and click-and-collect services will now be closed with immediate effect and a large in-store sale is expected to take place shortly.
Back in September, news broke that Toys R Us was experiencing troubles and the US arm of the business filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In December, the UK arm announced it was also struggling with a number of stores earmarked for closure at the beginning of 2018.
So why has this happened?
Competition and changes in shopping habits have had a huge knock-on effect for the toy retailer and, put quite simply, Toys R Us has also failed to keep up with the times. While Toys R Us was a huge leader in the toy business during the ’80s & ’90s, in recent times it has struggled to move beyond its initial premise – big warehouse-style stores full of toys – and this just isn’t enough to lure customers into stores anymore.
For those of us who grew up during the golden age of Toys R Us, today’s news is very sad. Sure, Toys R Us should have made big changes a long time ago, but it is a shame to see the retailer experiencing such tough times. It’s also a shame for all of the staff members who are unsure of what their future holds.
For now, we can only watch on and see what happens. For those who want to remember the good times, here’s a classic ad from the golden era of Toys R Us.