Sep 19, 2017

Toys 'R Us files for bankruptcy

In December 2015, Toys 'R Us closed its flagship store in Times Square, New York. (RW/MediaPunch/IPX / AP)

Toys 'R Us said it filed for bankruptcy late last night, the latest victim of a debacle suffered by brick-and-mortar retailers in the age of Amazon. The company did not immediately address the fate of its 65,000 employees at its 1,700 stores, but the Wall Street Journal reported that at least some of the outlets would be closed and the format changed in others.

What's next: The company said it will remain open during the Christmas holidays, when it does most of its business, and had received $3 billion in banking support to restructure itself. The company said only its U.S. and Canadian stores will be involved in the bankruptcy, and that the remainder will not be affected.

First it drove others out of business: Over the years, Toys 'R Us became the largest toy store in the United States with low prices that killed stylish independents like FAO Schwartz and Kay Bee Toys, both of which themselves filed for bankruptcy. But online competition from Amazon, in addition to discount pricing at stores like Walmart and Target, undercut the retailer. It also was severely hampered by more than $5 billion in debt on its balance sheet, related to the company's acquisition by private equity firms Bain Capital and KKR in 2005.

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