Toys R Us Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

The Washington Post reports:

Toys “R” Us announced late Monday night that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, though the company’s leadership assured customers its 1,600 stores around the world would continue to operate normally. The company, once America’s powerhouse of toys, has been struggling for years even as the toy industry grew.

Instead, it plans to restructure the $5 billion of long-term debt with which the company is saddled in hopes of keeping it afloat in a marketplace that has vastly changed with increased competition from both big box stores such as Walmart and Target, and online retailers such as Amazon.

CEO Dave Brandon called the filing the “dawn of a new era” in a news release. “We are confident that these are the right steps to ensure that the iconic Toys’R’Us and Babies’R’Us brands live on for many generations,” Brandon added.

More from Reuters:

With assets of $6.9 billion based on its most recent annual report, it’s the second-largest retail bankruptcy, trailing the filing in 2002 by Kmart, which had $14.6 billion in assets, according to research firm Bankruptcydata.com. More than a dozen significant retail chains have filed for bankruptcy this year. Among them were Perfumania Inc, apparel chains rue21 Inc and Gymboree Corp, discount shoe chain Payless Holdings LLC and designer clothing chain BCBG Max Azria Global Holdings LLC.

Major retailers including Macy’s Inc and Sears Holding Corp have closed hundreds of locations as they struggle to compete discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Amazon.com Inc. Amazon’s recent acquisition of high-end grocer Whole Foods Markets Inc stirred speculation that the online giant will use its pricing power and huge reach among U.S. consumers to go after market share of traditional brick-and-mortar grocers.