Australia's Toys R Us stores to close down


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Toys R Us opened in Australia in 1993

Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores across Australia will be shut down after the company’s local administrators said they were unable to find a buyer for the embattled brand.

The Australian arm of the US chain has 44 stores across the country and employs about 700 people.

The closures will follow the collapse of the Toys R Us brand in the US and in the UK.

The first Toys R Us store was opened in Australia in 1993.

Bricks and mortar speciality stores such as Toys R Us have been struggling to compete with online retail sites in Australia.

But they have also also been fighting an uphill battle against larger domestic supermarket-style retailers – including K-Mart and Big W – that sell a mixed range of products for children and adults.

Much the same has been happening to High Street retailers in the UK, where Toys R Us went into administration in February. The last Toys R Us stores there were closed on 24 April.

In the US, where Toys R Us was founded in 1948, the situation has been the same for several years as bricks and mortar stores struggle to compete against the likes of Amazon, among other online retailers.

Toys R Us in the US first sought bankruptcy protection in September last year, but by May it announced it would close or sell its 885 stores after failing to find a buyer for the business.

The firm’s chief executive, Dave Brandon, said at the time it was a “profoundly sad day” for the retailer.

Some stores are still operating in the US, but are holding closing down sales. The US website has been shut down.

In Australia, stores “will close progressively in the coming weeks”, the firm said in a statement sent to the BBC.

Gift cards and vouchers will be honoured until 5 July, with some caveats.

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