Toys R Us set to close as administrators fail to secure buyer

Toys R Us is set to close 18 stores across the Midlands with the loss of hundreds of jobs after administrators failed to find a buyer for the business.

Across the UK, around 3,000 jobs will be lost as the company’s 100-strong branch is shut.

No final date has been given but there is speculation all the stores could be closed within the next six weeks.

In the West Midlands, nine stores will go – Oldbury, Merry Hill, Birmingham (St Andrew’s Retail Park, Stechford), Solihull, Tamworth, Stafford, Coventry, Shrewsbury and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Stechford store had already been earmarked for closure in the spring as part of a cost-cutting move announced by the company before Christmas.

In the East Midlands, stores in Derby, Leicester (Highcross Shopping Centre and St George’s Retail Park), Nottingham (Riverside Park and Victoria Centre), Northampton (Towcester Road and Weston Favell), Chesterfield and Mansfield will also be shut.

The death knell was sounded by Simon Thomas, joint administrator from Moorfields.

He said: “We have made every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the company’s business. This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid prior to the expiration of the stated deadline.

“It is therefore with great regret that we have made the difficult decision to make a number of positions (67) redundant at the company’s head office in Maidenhead and proceed with a controlled store closure programme.”

So far, 25 Toys R Us stores have either closed in recent days or are due to close by tomorrow.

These stores had been earmarked for closure as part of the proposals put forward in the company’s CVA in December.

All of the remaining 75 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores will remain open until further notice. The closure programme for the remaining stores is expected to take approximately six weeks to complete with further announcements to follow.

The nationwide stock discounting programme introduced after the company entered administration last month has been extended to encourage customers to take advantage of the special offers available in store while stock levels remain high. Moorfields said this was the most comprehensive toy and baby product discounting programme available to consumers in the UK.