Bankrupt retailer Toys “R” Us is reportedly in talks to close an additional 200 stores and cut a significant portion of its corporate staff at its headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey, following a previous announcement in January to shutter 182 stores.
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The potential move could cut the iconic toy giant locations nearly in half from approximately 880 stores last year to roughly 400 stores today.
The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday evening but was quickly denied by Toy “R” US.
Nicole Hayes, a senior manager for corporate communications, told FOX Business that, “everything that you may have seen in the news today [or] yesterday is based on pure speculation” and as we have shared publicly in past, “our focus is on the reinvention of our business and emergence from Chapter 11. Decisions about our future store footprint and organizational structure will be based on needs of the new business model. It is therefore premature for us to comment on that.”
However, according to a local New Jersey newspaper, The Record, Toys “R” US is planning to hold an all-staff meeting on Thursday at its Wayne headquarters. A year ago this week, the retailer was forced to lay off nearly 15% of its staff at its headquarters.
The additional 200 store closings would be on top of the 182 outlets that the company has already announced it’s closing across the country. The decision for those closing came nearly five months after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September. Those closures are expected to begin this month with completion due by the end of April.
Ever since the retailer filed for bankruptcy, many industry insiders have been predicting that the company would be forced to shutter several hundred stores to remain viable.