It's the beginning of the end for Toys 'R' Us. Six months after filing for bankruptcy protection in the United States, and one month after a similar collapse in the UK, the company is now reportedly planning to shut down every single one of its stores in both countries. That's some 900 stores and 36,000 jobs in total.
According to The Wall Street Journal, CEO David Brandon told employees today that the company might still attempt to sell its stores in the United States, but we're talking about a liquidation process now, instead of finding a buyer for the entire business. "We're putting a sale sign on everything," he reportedly told employees.
The BBC reports that attempts to find a buyer for stores in the UK have failed, after talks with as many as 120 different potential buyers. All 100 stores in the UK will shut down.
Brandon reportedly told staffers that Toys 'R' Us stores in Australia, France, Spain, and Poland will probably be liquidated too, though it'll try to sell its Canadian business by throwing some 200 US stores into the bargain, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company's Central Europe and Asia businesses are also reportedly still available for prospective buyers too.
According to a source who spoke to The Washington Post under condition of anonymity, the company's US stores will be shut down slowly instead of all at once.
Toys 'R' Us didn't immediately reply to a request for comment.