After a condensed closing down sale, all Toys R Us stores in the UK have now closed.
The official website for Toys R Us confirms that all UK stores closed on April 24, 2018. It marks the end of an era for British toy retail, with the once dominant chain unable to survive after being saddled with debt.
When the first Toys R Us store in the UK opened in 1985, it offered a new experience for customers, with the warehouse style shop offering an unprecedented range. Over the years, the chain became a mainstay, the go-to partner for manufactures and distributors looking to launch new products in an impressive way. The LEGO range was impressive, with Toys R Us often carrying the new products ahead of other retailers.
In 2005, Toys R Us was bought by a private equity firm, and saddled with $5 billion of debt. It was not possible for the company to invest in its stores, as each year any profit went to paying the interest on the debt.
Late last year, the flagship Toys R Us UK store at Brent Cross was renovated with a fresh new look. That was too little, too late, as since the company’s woes became headline news last September, no solution to save it was forthcoming. While the business will survive in certain European countries and possibly Canada, the iconic toy retailer has now ceased trading in the UK.