Toys R Us confirms store closures as MPs scrutinise failing chains

The grim news comes ahead of the busy Christmas period a crucial time for high street retailers which have been struggling to compete with online shopping

The toy chain, which has been loss-making for several years now, said there will be no disruption for customers shopping through the Christmas and New Year period.

Toys R Us [IRDX RTOY] is to focus on its smaller, interactive stores and online selling and move away from larger big box stores as it adapts its United Kingdom business to reflect changes in consumers' shopping behaviour. "We will continue to honour gift cards and "Take Time To Pay" agreements and there will be no change to our returns policy".

"The business has been lossmaking in recent years and so we need to take strong and decisive action to accelerate the transformation".

Toys R USA said online shopping would be unaffected by the plans and that there would be no changes to its returns policies or gift cards across the festive period. The statement did not say which stores would close or how many job losses there would be among the company's 3,200-strong United Kingdom workforce.

All 26 stores will remain open through Christmas and New Year.

The Cambridge Toys "R" Us store in Cambridge is one of 26 scheduled to close in Spring 2018.

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This would "reduce the United Kingdom company's rental obligations and allow the business to move to a new, viable business model". "The decision to propose this CVA was a hard one, but we determined it is the best path forward to make essential changes to the business", Knights said.

It hopes creditors will approve the plans over the next 17 days.

Mr Knights added: "We recognise this process will affect many of our team members and their families, so we are committed to keeping all of our staff informed throughout this process".

While the US-based group filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Canada in September, it hopes restructuring proposals will be agreed by creditors within the next 17 days to avoid the company going into administration.

Toys R Us in the United Kingdom is owned by its U.S. namesake, but run as a separate financial entity.

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