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Toys R Us reveals which 26 stores are to close

PUBLISHED: 11:56 05 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:53 06 December 2017

Sale signs outside a Toys R Us store as the company revealed which stores it is planning to close. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Sale signs outside a Toys R Us store as the company revealed which stores it is planning to close. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Retailer Toys R Us has revealed the stores to be closed as part of a restructuring programme.

Outlets in Norwich and Ipswich have survived the axe but the Cambridge shop will be shut, documents have shown.

However, the Norwich store is underperforming and is seeking a rent reduction in order to make it viable, according to insolvency advisers who compiled the plans.

READ MORE: Norwich’s Toy R Us store could face closure unless rent reduction is agreed

Steve Knights, managing director of the UK arm of the American chain, said large warehouse-style stores were at risk from the proposals which have been made “to meet the evolving needs of customers”.

All stores will be remaining open over the Christmas and New Year period with 26 set to close in 2018 – with the loss of up to 800 jobs.

They are: Aberdeen, Basingstoke, Belfast - Newtownabbey, Birmingham - St Andrews, Bolton, Bradford, Brislington, Cambridge, Cardiff, Derry City, Doncaster, East Kilbride, Exeter, Hayes, Kirkcaldy, Leicester, Livingston, Old Kent Road, Plymouth, Scunthorpe, Shrewsbury, Tamworth, Tunbridge Wells, Watford, York and Manchester - Central Retail Park.

Mr Knights said: “All of our stores across the UK remain open for business as normal through Christmas and well into the New Year. Customers can also continue to shop online and there will be no changes to our returns policies or gift cards across this period.

“Our newer, smaller, more interactive stores are in the right shopping locations and are trading well, while our new website has generated significant growth in online and click-and-collect sales.

“But the warehouse style stores we opened in the 1980s and 1990s, while successful in the early days, are too big and expensive to run in the current retail environment. The business has been loss making in recent years and so we need to take strong and decisive action to accelerate the transformation.”

Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive of the group, said, “As we continued to work through the financial restructuring process, we made the decision to take action to put our UK operation on stronger financial footing.

“Through the CVA process, we hope to receive authorization to restructure our UK lease obligations so that we will be better able to invest in our UK business and further improve the customer experience.

“Importantly, our stores and operations in our other global markets will not be impacted by this process.”

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