Toys 'R' Us, Once a Category Killer, Is Forced Into Bankruptcy


However, Toys "R" Us is considered to be the biggest retailer to take the bullet so far.

Brick and mortar retailers continue to face pressure from online competition and changing consumer taste, helping lead to high profile restructurings including Sears Canada's bankruptcy protection this past June.

Toys R Us has filed for bankruptcy protection in the USA and Canada after running up $5bn (£3.7bn) of debts and struggling to compete in the age of internet shopping.

The bankruptcy comes as the company, operating stores under the names Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us, struggles with $5 billion in debt.

The company's Canadian unit intends to seek protection in parallel proceedings under the Companies" Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Toys "R' Us said in a statement.

But filing for bankruptcy - particularly Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in the case of Toys "R" Us - does not mean the largest toy store chain the now going out of business.

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The company, which is 60 years old, was for many years the preeminent retailer for toys in the USA with a Times Square New York flagship location and its icon Geoffrey the Giraffe.

Right now, Toys "R" Us is owned by three companies - private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital, and real estate firm Vornado Realty Trust - that purchased it for about $6 billion in 2005.

Since 1948, Toys "R" Us has served kids and families around the world by offering great service and a wide assortment of toy and baby products.

Today, while still operating over 800 individual stores in the USA and almost as many internationally, Toys "R" Us is no longer the leading retailer for toy and juvenile products it once was.

To ensure suppliers still receive orders for the holiday season, JP Morgan and other banks and lenders have agreed $3 billion "debtor-in-possession financing" to help Toys "R" Us restructure over the coming months.

Toys "R" Us is the second-largest toy seller in the United States behind Amazon, according to consulting firm Kloster Trading Corp.