Toys R Us axes hundreds of jobs as four Scottish stores are set to close

Four stores in Scotland could be hit by planned closures by Toys R Us.

The retailer has put forward proposals to shut 26 of its UK premises as part a a company voluntary agreement (CVA), putting up to 800 jobs at risk.

Among those in Scotland which could be hit include Aberdeen, East Kilbride, Kirkcaldy and Livingston.

Steve Knights, managing director of Toys R Us UK, said the warehouse-style stores opened by the retailer in the 1980s and 1990s have proven ”too big and expensive to run”, adding that ”newer, smaller, more interactive stores in the right shopping locations” were trading well.

He also pointed to a ”significant growth” in online sales and its click-and-collect offering.

As part of the CVA process, Toys R Us UK has submitted its restructuring plan to creditors, with hopes of gaining approval within the next 17 days.

If approved, Toys R Us UK would see its rental obligations ”substantially reduce”, and allow it to move forward with a ”new, viable business model” that would include a raft of store closures.

The announcement comes just months after the US-based retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada as it battled mammoth debts and increasing competition online.

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Lesley Laird said: “Hundreds of workers in Scotland will now spend Christmas facing the prospect of redundancy.

“Toys R Us gave public assurances three months ago that UK stores were unaffected by the company going into administration in the US – a message which gave those staff a false sense of security.

“That’s not good enough and I’ll be contacting the company to better understand the reasons for this apparent U-turn and the implications for their employees.”

The private equity-owned company has suffered falling like-for-like sales, with analysts saying it has failed to aggressively build up its online business and lost sales to competitors like Amazon.

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/15701896.Toys_R_Us_axes_hundreds_of_jobs_as_four_Scottish_stores_are_set_to_close/