Toy giant Toys R Us has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada with mammoth debt struggles, it has been revealed.
The toy store’s US and Canada chains have amassed more than 5.6 billion dollars’ (£3.6bn) worth of debt.
The group has 1,600 stores worldwide and 64,000 employees. Its stores in the UK are said to be unaffected by the move, although there may be widespread implications in the future.
A spokesperson said Toys R Us would operate its stores “as usual” while its debt mountain is restructured. The chain has secured more that three billion dollars (£2.2bn) in financing from a syndicate of lenders to help keep the stores open.
Its struggles come to light just ahead of the all-important Christmas season, which makes up 40% of it its annual sales.
Toys R Us opened a pop-up store in Huddersfield’s Kingsgate Shopping Centre in September last year for the Christmas period, before it closed to make way for the new JD Sports store.
The chain also has a big store at the Birstall Retail Park just off junction 27 of the M62.
Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive of Toys R Us, said: “We are confident that we are taking the right steps to ensure that the iconic Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands live on for many generations.”