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The shutdown of yet another retail giant could threaten up to 33,000 American jobs. Iconic toy retailer Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. told employees Wednesday that it will sell or close all its U.S. stores.
The 70-year-old chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, has over 700 U.S. locations, including Babies ‘R’ Us stores.
Chief Executive Officer David Brandon announced the news of the company’s future at its headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey. “I have always believed that this brand and this business should exist in the U.S.,” Brandon said on a conference call with staff. Brandon went on to say that those vendors and would-be customers who failed to support the chain during the holidays “will all live to regret what’s happening here.”
Online retailers such as Amazon.com and discount brick-and-mortar rivals the likes of Walmart contributed to the company’s struggles, as did the more than $5 billion in debt the company took on in a leveraged buyout in 2005.
Brandon told staff that the company was also likely to liquidate in France, Spain, Poland and Australia. They plan to sell operations in Canada, Central Europe and Asia, as well.
“We’re putting a for sale sign on everything,” Brandon said.
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal