Toys ‘R’ Us shutters UK stores, US likely next

Toys ‘R’ Us is officially closing all of its stores in the UK over the next six weeks after being unable to find a buyer to help it get out of debt.

The company announced its decision on Wednesday after it didn’t receive any formal bids from buyers. The toy chain, which is one of UK’s largest toy retailers with 3,000 staff across the country, has already shuttered 25 stores and laid off 67 employees at its headquarters.

The remaining 75 stores will remain open for now while executives determine a schedule for their closure.

The news of the shutdown comes as many have speculated a liquidation of U.S. stores is imminent. The Wall Street Journal has reported the retailer is in the process of drafting its liquidation plan and an announcement could come as early as this week.

Nicole Hayes, a spokeswomen for Toys ‘R’ Us, declined to comment to FOX Business regarding the possible liquidation but multiple reports have been swirling for several weeks that plans are in the works.

The downward spiral for the chain started last September, just before the holiday season, when the company filed for bankruptcy protection as its sales have been waning and debt has been rising. Executives hoped the holiday season would turn things around for them but sales were still lacking. Then in late January, the retailer announced its plans to shutter roughly 180 stores across the country, wiping out one-fifth of its U.S. store fleet.