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Toys 'R' Us hopes to avoid job losses in Spain
TOYS 'R' Us is considering trying to sell its 53 stores in Spain, which employ around 1,600 people, as part of the chain's global liquidation.
The multi-national toy store has begun winding down its business in the USA, where it has 735 branches in operation, and has announced its cessation of activity and 'restructuring' in Canada, Asia and central Europe, including in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In the case of Spain, along with France, Portugal, Poland and Australia, Toys 'R' Us is 'considering alternatives' to a straight closure to save the thousands of jobs at risk in these five countries, including 'the potential sale of its market share'.
Toys 'R' Us, which first set up in Spain in 1991, opening its flagship store in Sant Quirze del Vallès (Barcelona province) and launched online sales in the country 20 years later, says: “We're working closely with our advisors to achieve measures that will allow us to maintain the continuity of our activity in Spain and, along with it, the interests of our contributors, suppliers and staff.”
Area manager for Toys 'R' Us Spain and Portugal, Jean Charretteur, says stores remain open in 'all international markets' and are 'continuing to trade' at present.
“I'm very disappointed with this result, but we can no longer count on financial support to carry on our operations in the USA, so we are implementing an ordered closure process of our business there and will seek either to cease our activity or effect restructures in certain international markets, whilst others of these markets will consider their options,” said the brand's chairman and CEO, Dave Brandon.
“This is a deeply sad day for us all, and also for the millions of children and families whom we have served for the last 70 years.”
Toys 'R' Us was founded in 1957 and declared itself bankrupt in the USA on September 18, and restructure attempts since then have failed.
Across the pond, the closure will also affect the Babies 'R' Us brand, and could mean the loss of a total of 33,000 jobs.
All stores in the UK will close in the next six weeks, leaving 3,000 employees out of a job.
Changes in consumer habits and major debts took its toll on the multi-national last year – a firm which has over 1,600 stores worldwide and employs 60,000 people year-round, rising to 100,000 with extra temporary staff taken on at Christmas.
Photograph: Terence Ong/Wikimedia Commons
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