KB eyes closures

US mall-retail giant KB Toys is closing a “significant” number of stores.
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KB plans to close a number of stores nationwide and to eliminate an unspecified number of jobs from its Pittsfield headquarters as part of a "shrink-to-grow" strategy.

The revised strategy comes two years after the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. KB closed more than 600 stores and laid off 3,400 employees while it sought protection from creditors. It is the largest mall-based toy-chain in the US.

President and CEO Andrew Bailen said KB will close "more than 20, more than 30 stores," but would not specify how many because the company is still trying to determine "which ones can be saved." He said he expects to have a clearer picture in mid- to late October.

The closures and job cuts at the stores will be met by proportional job cuts at the Pittsfield headquarters, Bailen added, although he declined to provide specific numbers. With 566 stores, KB has more than 6,500 employees nationwide, including 270 at its headquarters on West Street.



Irish eyes on UK market

Irish retail giant Smyths is currently planning an assault on the UK market and hopes to have a number of stores up and running before the end of the year.

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