Wednesday, March 14, 2018 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews
Featured image: The Toys ‘R’ Us in Melrose Park. The company recently announced plans to close all of its U.S. stores. | Google Earth
According to multiple media reports, Toys ‘R’ Us plans to close all of its roughly 800 stores in the United States after filing for bankruptcy protection last year and experiencing low sales even during the holidays.
The New York Times reports that “30,000 American jobs are at risk as the company winds down.”
The Times explained that “in the age of internet retailing, Toys ‘R’ Us has struggled with an antiquated sales model that could not keep up with Amazon and Walmart, and was burdened by $5 billion in debt from a leveraged buyout in 2005.”
According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, “GlobalData Retail estimates that nearly 14 percent of toy sales were made online in 2016, more than double the level five years ago.”
The Sun-Times reports that the toy retailer also struggled with private-equity debt after a “$6.6 billion leveraged buyout in 2005.”
According to the Sun-Times, the “plan had been to take the company public again, but weak sales have prevented that from happening. With such debt levels, Toys R Us did not have the financial flexibility to invest in its business.
“The company closed its flagship store in Manhattan’s Times Square, a huge tourist destination that featured its own Ferris wheel, about two years ago.”
According to a CNBC report, Toys ‘R’ Us “is in the process of drafting the court motion for its liquidation plan that could come as soon as the end of the day on March 14. It will then begin to wind down the storied toy retailer, after more than half a century in business.”
But the retail behemoth doesn’t plan to go down easily. CNBC added that the company is “studying one proposal that could keep the business afloat and keep open roughly 200 U.S. stores open after the retailer liquidates.”
There are two Toys ‘R’ Us locations in, or near, the Proviso Township area — at 9200 W. North Ave. in Melrose Park and at 7451 W. Cermak Rd. in North Riverside.
So far, no word on whether those two stores might be considered among those 200 stores that could remain open after liquidation. VFP
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