Liquidation sales are starting today at Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores slated for closure, including six in the Chicago area, but the list includes fewer locations than the toy chain initially sought court approval to shutter. Discounts on items will be as much as 30 percent off, to start. Toys "R" Us owns about 1,600 stores in North America.
Gift cards and customer loyalty programs will continue to be honored at the closing stores. A Toys R Us in Burbank that was on the earlier list of store closures was not on Wednesday's list and appears to be remaining open.
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The stores in Silverdale, Everett, and Spokane, Washington are on the closure list. As part of its restructuring, he added, some Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us stores will be converted to co-branded stores to better compete against other retailers.
Toys R Us became saddled with over $5 billion in debt after the company was taken private in a leveraged buyout in 2005 by the equity and real estate investors Bain Capital, KKR, and Vornado Realty Trust. At its bankruptcy filing date, the retailer had almost $5 billion in debt, $400 million of which has interest payments due in 2018 and $1.7 billion of which is due in 2019.
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2017 was a tough year for retailers in general, with some hardlines (housewares, electronics, toys, and the like) retailers closing more than 2,000 stores, second only to more than 3,300 closures among softlines (specialty apparel, primarily) retailers. Furniture and fixtures are included.
Toys "R" Us originally listed 182 locations that were set to close.
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