Toys `R' Us UK Dismisses Staffers as Hunt for a Buyer Fails

Toys “R” Us Inc.’s U.K. unit has dismissed head-office staff members and proceeded with store closures after a hunt to find a buyer for the retailer yielded nothing.


The retailer let 67 workers go, and 25 stores that had previously been earmarked for closing are now being shut, administrator Moorfields Advisory Ltd. said in an emailed statement Wednesday.

“We have made every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the company’s business,” joint administrator Simon Thomas said in the statement. “This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid.”

The collapse of Toys “R” Us’s U.K. business in February followed bankruptcy proceedings for its U.S. parent, which buckled under debt from a $7.5 billion leveraged buyout in 2005. A lack of investment in the U.K. left it vulnerable to the rapid growth of the country’s e-commerce market and the Brexit-induced jump in sourcing costs last year.

The 75 remaining Toys “R” Us U.K. stores will stay open until further notice, and the administrators said they remain open to offers for parts of the business.


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