Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Australia's Toys R Us stores to close down

Australia's Toys R Us stores to close down

Australian stores of USA chain Toys "R" Us will shut down after administrators said Wednesday they were unable to find a buyer, the latest victim of the growth of online retail.

Administrators failed to secure a buyer for the chain of 44 toys and baby goods stores, which have been trading since entering voluntary administration in May.

In Australia, stores "will close progressively in the coming weeks", the firm said in a statement sent to the BBC.

The administrators had kept the Australian chain open while they explored a recapitalisation and a sale of the business as a going concern.

"All accrued employee entitlements will rank as priority claims against TRUA and are expected to be paid by the Administrators in full from proceeds from asset realisations".

It follows the collapse of United States Toys "R" Us stores in March, when it announced it was preparing to sell or close all 735 stores in the country, putting 33,000 jobs at risk.

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"Despite productive discussions with a number of interested parties, all of the parties have now advised the Administrators that they have withdrawn from the sale process", reads a media release from McGrathNicol.

Lay-bys will also be honoured until July 5.

Founded in 1948 as a small child care store in Washington, DC, Toys "R" Us evolved into one of the world's most recognizable kids' brands.

Hurt by the emergence of cheaper toy suppliers and the rise of online shopping, Toys R' Us lost $16 million over the two past financial years, including $7.6 million in 2016-17 on sales of $276 million.

- Gift cards and vouchers continue to be accepted, as long as customers spend an additional equivalent amount ( redeem a $50 gift card, a customer would need to purchase $100 worth of product).

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