US: Potential cutbacks and closures coming for Toys R Us?

Industry sources across the US disclose information about retailers' plans for streamlining.
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Toys R Us is expected to announce a number of job cuts at its headquarters in the US, and around 100 store closures in the coming weeks, reports North Jersey.

While Toys R Us spokesperson, Kathleen Waugh could not comment on reports that the retailer is preparing for up to 200 job losses, toy industry sources in the US have said they expect cutbacks to be announced soon.

Murmurings of the lay-offs can be traced back to the New York Toy Fair, where several manufacturers disclosed information about the firm’s plans for ‘streamlining operations in order to improve the company’s focus.’

Cutbacks and store closings have been predicted for Toy R Us since early January, when the retailer revealed disappointing holiday sales results for Christmas 2013.

Sales at US stores declined 4.1 per cent in the fourth quarter including the important Christmas shopping months.

Sean McGowan, senior analyst at Needham & Co said he had no specific information about planned cuts at Toys R Us, but confirmed that the retailer had been under growing pressure, particularly from online competitor, Amazon.

He said: “What is ominous about Amazon’s growth is it strikes at the heart of one of Toys R Us’ competitive advantages, which is selection.”

The retailer currently employs 1,700 workers at its headquarters in Wayne who oversee all the operations of the company, which has 830 stores in the US alone. 

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