Toys’R’Us winds down UK business as retail sector feels chill

London: The British arm of troubled retailer Toys’R’Us is winding down its activities, administrators said, as the US firm faces pressure from rival stores and online giant Amazon. It means up to 3,200 jobs are at risk and comes as restaurant chain Prezzo is set to announce the closure of around 100 of its Italian-style eateries, or one-third of its UK-wide total, and close its Tex-Mex chain Chimichanga, costing hundreds of jobs, according to people familiar with the matter.
The collapse of certain major retailers in the UK comes as Brexit uncertainty appears to be impacting the country’s economic growth according to recent official data.
“The challenging conditions in the UK retail sector are well documented,” said Zelf Hussain at PWC, which is acting as administrators for Maplin.
Hussain added that the administrators will “engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the company”.
Regarding Toys’R’Us, administrators Moorfields said: “Following the failure to attract a buyer for the business… administrators are conducting an orderly wind-down of the company’s store portfolio.”
While the Toys’R’Us announcement “is likely to affect many… staff, whether some or all of the stores will close remains to be decided”, Moorfields administrator Simon Thomas said in a statement. As of late last year, Toys’R’Us in the UK employed more than 3,000 staff across more than 100 mostly warehouse-style stores.
Its British operations narrowly avoided entering administration in December after a key creditor embraced its plan to begin shutting stores and plug its pensions deficit.
 — AFP