Sydney (AFP) – Australian stores of US chain Toys ‘R’ Us will shut down after administrators said Wednesday they were unable to find a buyer, the latest victim of the growth of online retail.
Toys ‘R’ Us Australia was put into administration last month after a failed auction to sell the stores, just months after the retailer’s US and British stores wound down their activities.
Administrators McGrathNicol had kept the 44 Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us outlets in the country open as they searched for a buyer or looked for options to recapitalise the business, without success.
“Despite productive discussions with a number of interested parties, all of the parties have now advised the administrators that they have withdrawn from the sale process,” McGrathNicol said in a statement.
“Therefore a going-concern sale will not be achieved and the business will now be wound down.”
Existing stock will be sold off at the stores as they close in the next few weeks. The closures will also see 700 staff lose their jobs.
Founded in 1948 as a small child care store in Washington, DC, Toys ‘R’ Us evolved into one of the world’s most recognisable kids’ brands.
But like other bricks-and-mortar retailers, it has struggled amid the rise of e-commerce and an internet buying culture.
Toys ‘R’ Us announced in March that it would liquidate its US operations and shut down all 735 stores. The British arm of the embattled retailer said in February it was winding down its activities.