Toys R Us is to shut all 100 of its UK stores, with closures beginning on Thursday, after administrators failed to find a buyer for the collapsed retailer, resulting in the loss of 3,000 jobs.
The chain’s administrators said the group would be extending a nationwide discounting programme and encouraged shoppers to “take advantage of special offers while stocks remain high”.
The toy chain appointed Moorfields Advisory to oversee an administration at the end of February after the firm failed to find a last-minute rescuer.
On Wednesday, staff were told that no buyer had been found for Toys R Us and that all stores would close, with 67 staff at the group’s head office in Maidenhead, Kent, made redundant.
The administrators said they “remain open to interest from potential buyers for parts of the business” but it had not been possible to secure a sale by its stated deadline.
About 25 stores will close on Thursday and 541 staff will be made redundant. The remaining 75 outlets are expected to shut over the next six weeks.
Toys R Us is one of the nation’s biggest toy retailers, employing more than 3,000 across 100 stores in the UK.
Simon Thomas, joint administrator and partner at Moorfields, 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 redundant at the company’s head office in Maidenhead and proceed with a controlled store closure programme. We are grateful for the hard work of Toys R Us staff during this difficult period and will be providing support where we can to those who have been made redundant.”
The retail sector has had a dismal start to 2018, with the collapse of Toys R Us and Maplin, and a host of firms undergoing painful restructurings, including New Look and eateries run by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, as well as Byron and Prezzo.
High street chains across the board have been hit hard by falling consumer spending, soaring Brexit-fuelled inflation and competition from online rivals.