March 14, 2018 / 1:53 PM / 4 days ago

All Toys 'R' Us shops to shut in Britain

(Reuters) - Toys “R” Us stores will disappear from Britain’s shopping streets within six weeks, joint administrators for the retailer said on Wednesday, announcing plans to close the group’s remaining 75 shops.

FILE PHOTO: Closing down signs are seen outside the Toys R Us store in Coventry, Britain, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

The administrators said in a statement they had not been able to find a buyer for all or part of the business, resulting in the loss of about 3,000 jobs.

The retailer’s U.S. parent company is also suffering in its home market with reports it is preparing for potential liquidation, six months after filing for bankruptcy.

The toy chain, however, is working on a proposal that will keep about 200 U.S. stores open for business even after the liquidation, CNBC reported here, citing people familiar with the situation.

The company is working on a plan where it could sell its stronger Toys R Us Canadian business, along with roughly 200 of its most profitable U.S. stores, to a new buyer, according to the report.

Toys “R” Us declined to comment on the CNBC report.

FILE PHOTO: People pass by the Toys R Us store at Times Square in New York, U.S., March 9, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

The toy store chain, which has 800 operating stores in the United States, is already in the process of closing about 180 of them.

The UK arm of Toys “R” Us entered administration, a form of creditor protection, in February, sunk by weak consumer sentiment, the growth of online sales and currency swings as a result of Brexit.

FILE PHOTO: Closing down signs are seen outside the Toys R Us store in Coventry, Britain, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

In Britain, the administrators had been trying to sell parts of the business.

“This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid prior to the expiration of the stated deadline,” joint administrator Simon Thomas, a partner at corporate advisory and restructuring firm Moorfields said in a statement.

Seventy-five stores will be closed over the next six weeks, on top of the 25 outlets that have already closed or are about to shut under an earlier plan.

The administrators said they remained open to interest from potential buyers.

Reporting by Sarah Young; Additional reporting by Nivedita Balu; Editing by Mark Potter and Sriraj Kalluvila

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