Toys R Us and Maplin collapse leaving retailers feeling a chill

Ann Santiago
March 4, 2018

Toys R Us announced today (28 February) that its domestic business was going into administration following a failed attempts to secure a new buyer for the UK's largest toy retailer after sluggish trading hit the industry over the 2017 festive season.

Toys R Us is one of the nation's biggest toy retailers, with more than 100 stores in the United Kingdom and 1,500 in 33 countries across the globe.

The British toys retail chain had been searching for a buyer for several weeks before formally appointing administrators on Wednesday.

Administrators from Moorfields Advisory saythey have commenced a "nationwide closing down sales programme" across the entire Toys R Us and Babies R Us store estate.

He added: "Whilst this process is likely to affect many Toys R Us staff, whether some or all of the stores will close remains to be decided".

Maplin gift cards are still now being redeemed in store.

Electronic retailer Maplin has several stores across Ireland - in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway - while Toys R Us has branches in the North.

Toys R Us at Clifton Moor in York is having a huge clearance sale.

Administrators confirmed all 105 stores would remain open for now and that most of the stock would be discounted to help it shift as the search for a buyer continued.

This latest blow follows a wave of closures all over the US as the toy giant, a staple of American family life since its founding in 1948, fails to hold its ground against online shopping platforms.

Zelf Hussain, Toby Scott Underwood and Ian David Green of PricewaterhouseCoopers have been appointed as joint administrators of Maplin Electronics.

CEO Graham Harris said the company struggled with "sterling devaluation post-Brexit, a weak consumer environment and the withdrawal of credit insurance", factors which made raising capital "impossible".

- What should customers do if they have a Take Time to Pay agreement with Toys R Us?

Toys'R'Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a USA court in September, which gives companies temporary protection from creditors while they try to renegotiate their debts and reorganise to continue operations.

Maplin employs 2,500 people across 217 United Kingdom stores.

Reductions will take place across every store in the United Kingdom and for now the toy chain has announced that it will be discounting 25 per cent from every single product.

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