Toys and games superstore giant Toys R Us has gone into administration, it was announced this morning.
Administrators have been called in to wind down the British division of the US-owned firm after the company admitted it was unlikely to be able to pay a £15m UK tax bill.
There is a branch of Toys R Us at the giant Birstall retail park.
Maplin, which has a store at Leeds Road Retail Park, is also in danger of collapse with 2,500 jobs at risk.
The Toys R Us announcement will be bad news for the company's 3,000 British staff whose jobs are now at risk.
But it will be a mixed bag for customers.
Administrators Moorfields Advisory Ltd have urged customers with vouchers and gift cards to cash them in as soon as possible. It is not known for how long Toys R Us will be able to honour them.
But those looking for a bargain will be sure to find one as the stores – the nearest of which is on Gelderd Road, Birstall – will be holding clear-out sales as they continue to stay open until further notice.
What does it mean for Toys R Us customers?
Those who have paid deposits on the company's installments purchase scheme - called 'Take Time To Pay Agreements' – have been advised to pay the remaining balance and collect their item by March 11.
The deposit may also be used to buy other items on sale in the stores.
All online sales ceased this morning.
Simon Thomas, Joint Administrator and Partner at Moorfields, said: “We will be conducting an orderly wind-down of the store portfolio over the coming weeks.
“All stores remain open until further notice and stock will be subject to clearance and special promotions.
“We’re encouraging customers to redeem their gift cards and vouchers as soon as possible.
“We will make every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the business.
“The newer, smaller, more interactive stores in the portfolio have been outperforming the older warehouse-style stores that were opened in the 1980s and 1990s.”
What does it mean for Toys R Us employees?
Mr Thomas said: “Whilst this process is likely to affect many Toys R Us staff, whether some or all of the stores will close remains to be decided.
“We have informed employees about the process this morning and will continue to keep them updated on developments.
“We are grateful for the commitment and hard work of employees as the business continues to trade.”