Toys “R” Us announced Thursday that it was closing or selling all of its 735 stores in the United States.
The closure will result in the loss of some 33,000 American jobs.
Toys “R” Us said it would begin liquidating all of its inventory in the U.S., stop paying suppliers and would only honor gift cards for the next 30 days. The company filed a motion to liquidate in a bankruptcy court; Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in September of 2017.
Several months after the bankruptcy filing, Toys “R” Us reported that sales during the holiday season were far too weak to save the business.
“I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the company’s U.S. operations,” CEO Dave Brandon said in a statement. “We are therefore implementing an orderly process to shutter our U.S. operations and will pursue going concern sales or reorganizations of certain of our international businesses, while our other international businesses consider their options.”
In an announcement, the toy retailer said the brand might be kept alive, along with roughly 200 U.S. stores, by combining the U.S. business with the Canadian division. Toys “R” Us Canada and its 82 stores will remain open for the time being. The Canadian business could become the new global headquarters for the company if the plan to save the 200 American stores is approved.
Toys “R” Us, which was founded 70 years ago, is looking to sell or reorganize its international operations in Asia, Europe and Australia. On Wednesday, the company announced it was shuttering all of its stores in the United Kingdom.
The announcement sent toy manufacturer stocks falling. Shares of Mattel dropped 2.4 percent to close at $13.84. Shares of Hasbro dipped 0.43 percent to $88.15. Toys “R” Us was a public company for several decades, but was taken private after it was bought out by several investment firms in 2005.