Amazon could buy Toys “R” Us stores: report

Amazon is reportedly considering the possibility of acquiring some of Toys “R” Us’ soon-to-be-closed store locations in the U.S.

The e-commerce giant could use the locations as showrooms for its voice-activated “Echo” gadgets or as a means of enhancing its delivery network, Bloomberg reported. Amazon has shown an increased interest in brick-and-mortar locations in recent months on the heels of its acquisition of the Whole Foods Market grocery chain. Amazon would not acquire the stores to maintain the Toys “R” Us brand, according to the report.

Amazon declined to comment on the report.

Toys “R” Us officials said earlier this month that the New Jersey-based toy retailer would close or sell all of its more than 700 store locations after weak holiday sales and a fruitless search for a corporate buyer. The company initially filed for bankruptcy last September, citing more than $5 billion in long-term debt.

Some Toys “R” Us investors are mulling whether to salvage some stores as part of a slimmed-down version of the business, the New York Post reported. The company has yet to comment on that possibility.

Toys “R” Us is preparing to shutter stores even as another venerable toy retailer is plotting a comeback. Strategic Marks LLC, the company that owns intellectual property rights to the KB Toys brand, said they are exploring the possibility of re-opening the chain.