The request comes as the retailer is attempting to separate its liquidating U.S. business from its operations abroad. In the weeks to come, the retailer plans to look over proposals for its businesses in Canada, Asia and Europe.
On Wednesday (March 14), Reuters reported that Toys R Us will either sell or shutter all of its brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. after failing to restructure its debt or find a buyer.
The retailer has over 700 remaining locations in the U.S., including those under the Babies R Us banner. If completed, the company’s liquidation would be among the largest in retail history since Sports Authority closed nearly 500 stores, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
Since a leveraged buyout, Toys R Us has been burdened with over $5 billion in debt. Competition from eCommerce retailers such as Amazon and discount stores such as Walmart hasn’t helped the company either.
Beyond the U.S., Toys R Us Chief Executive David Brandon said the company may liquidate its operations in France, Spain, Poland and Australia. In addition, the company hopes to find a buyer for its Canadian business, which it plans to package with 200 stores in the U.S.
“We’re putting a for-sale sign on everything,” Brandon told the WSJ. “Frankly, all anyone has to do is offer one dollar more.”
Earlier in the year, Toys R Us planned to shutter more than 200 stores and lay off many of its corporate staff, WSJ reported based on information from people familiar with the situation. That news came as the retailer’s sales declined 15 percent from the 2017 holiday shopping season compared to 2016, and as the retailer previously announced it may close 100 stores.