Toys R Us to close four Scottish stores

Toys R Us will close four Scottish stores next spring, leaving dozens of jobs in jeopardy.
Toys R Us appears set to be saved in the UK. Picture:: Andrew Matthews/PA WireToys R Us appears set to be saved in the UK. Picture:: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Toys R Us appears set to be saved in the UK. Picture:: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Livingston, Kirkcaldy, Aberdeen and East Kilbride are the four outlets earmarked to shut.

The closures were confirmed among 26 of the retailer’s 105 outlets that will be shut across the UK.

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A total of 800 jobs are expected to be axed under a last-minute rescue plan that staved off administration.

Toys R Us said it would “make every effort to relocate affected staff, where possible”.

The children’s toy retailer has 11 outlets in Scotland.

The beleaguered firm’s creditors had met earlier today to vote on the rescue deal, which hinged on a resolution of the pension deficit.

A company voluntary arrangement (CVA) was voted through after it obtained the backing of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

Malcolm Weir, the PPF’s director of restructuring and insolvency, said: “We have been working closely with Toys R Us and their advisers in the run-up to the CVA vote. We can confirm that an agreement has now been reached and we will now be voting in favour of the proposals at the CVA meeting today.”

The fate of all 3,200 Toys R Us jobs was hanging in the balance ahead of the ballot, with administrators waiting in the wings had the CVA been rejected.

The PPF had earlier refused to back the retailer’s rescue plans.

However, concessions from the company, including an offer to reduce its deficit recovery plan to ten years from 15 years, meant the deal received the PPF’s blessing.

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In total, Toys R Us has agreed to pay £9.8 million into the pension plan, made up of £3.8m in 2018, with a further £6m promised over 2019 and 2020.

“This offer goes a long way to addressing the PPF’s concerns and in de-risking the pension scheme, offering greater protection for the current and retired members in the pension scheme,” Mr Weir said.

“The PPF will always seek assurances on behalf of the pension schemes and pension scheme members it protects, as well as consider the interests of other UK companies that pay the Pension Protection Fund levy.”

Other creditors include the firm’s landlords, who will stomach rent cuts as part of the restructuring.

The retailer, which is owned by US-based Toys R Us Inc, trades from 84 stores in the UK and has 21 concessions.

Toys R Us has said that trading has suffered as its warehouse-style stores opened in the 1980s and 1990s have proved “too big and expensive to run”. The retailer has also struggled to keep up with online competitors.

The announcement comes just months after the US-based retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada.