The first casualties of Toys R Us' bankruptcy have been named. As reported by NBC News, the children's entertainment retailer yesterday outlined its plan to close 182 stores across the US in a bankruptcy court filing.
The stores represent nearly 21% of Toys R Us brick-and-mortar locations in the US, and the retailer described them as under-performing, with "an overwhelming majority" showing negative sales trends. Clearance sales at those stores are expected to begin early next month, with the locations being shut down permanently in mid-April 2018. An additional number of stores will be converted into co-branded Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.
In a statement announcing the closures, Toys R Us chairman and CEO David A. Brandon said, "The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company that will provide the level of service and experience you should expect from a market leader."
Toys R Us was once a giant in the video game retail space, but its role in the industry has lessened. In 2001, the video games category accounted for 19% of Toys R Us' domestic toy store business, but in subsequent years the retailer would blame maturation of the category and increased competition from specialty retailers like Best Buy and GameStop for the lessening impact of the sector on its bottom line. In its most recently concluded fiscal year, video games accounted for 4% of net sales.