Sad new indeed that Toys R Us finally went into administration today. Unable to pay the HMRC a £15mn VAT bill and failing to find a buyer willing to stump it up for them in time (and about £100mn more) the lights are about to go out at the rather dated retailer. Shame, could’ve been turned into a very decent place to go and play but it suffered from sticking in the past and piling stuff high and being almost always in an out-of-the-way location. There’s every chance the administrators might sell off bits and pieces to some retail revival outfit (Hilco did with HMV) or perhaps sell the brand name to someone (Shop Direct bought Woolworths) and it’ll trade online, how about Amazon swooping in and in one hit becoming a UK retailing force (so very unlikely). Never good when 3,000 folk lose their jobs or a nostalgic brand hits the skids, we wish any toy supplier effected by the news the very best too.
In other, more practical news, anyone with Toys R Us gift cards and vouchers should spend them in stores ASAP and of course no more gift cards will be sold. Toys R Us also had the “take time to pay” service allowing customers to reserve a product and then pay for it gradually for 12 weeks before picking it up. The administrators said these reservations would be honoured so long as the outstanding balance was paid and the stuff collected by 11 March.