Toys ‘R’ Us Plans Bankruptcy Filing as Soon as Today
Toys “R” Us Inc., which has struggled to lift its fortunes since a buyout loaded the retailer with debt more than a decade ago, is preparing a bankruptcy filing as soon as today, according to people familiar with the situation.
The Chapter 11 reorganization of America’s largest toy chain would deal another blow to a brick-and-mortar industry that’s already reeling from store closures, sluggish mall traffic and the threat of Amazon.com Inc.
The filing would allow Toys “R” Us to restructure $400 million in debt that comes due next year. The retailer has hired a claims agent, which typically helps with administering such a process, people with knowledge of the situation said last week. And its vendors have been curtailing shipments amid concern that Toys “R” Us might not be able to pay its bills.
“This filing is really a buildup of financial problems over the past 15 years,” said Jim Silver, an industry analyst and the editor of toy-review site TTPM.com. “Finally, the straw broke the camel’s back.”
With speculation of a bankruptcy mounting, shares of Toys “R” Us’s vendors tumbled on Monday. Mattel Inc., the maker of Barbie and Fisher-Price, fell 6.2 percent -- its worst decline in seven weeks. Shares of Hasbro, the company behind Monopoly, Nerf and Transformers, dropped 1.7 percent.