What does Toys 'R' Us filing for bankruptcy mean for Illawarra stores?

 Wollongong’s Toys “R” Us store on Ellen Street was trading as usual on Wednesday, despite its parent company filing for bankruptcy.
Wollongong’s Toys “R” Us store on Ellen Street was trading as usual on Wednesday, despite its parent company filing for bankruptcy.

The Australian arm of global kids retailing giant Toys “R” Us insists local stores – including those in Wollongong and Shellharbour – will trade as normal after its parent company filed for bankruptcy in America and Canada.

The move was spurred by a hefty debt load from a buyout more than a decade ago and a failure to keep consumers from abandoning its stores for the lower prices and convenience of online shopping.

Australia is one of the company’s bigger overseas markets, with 39 stores out of an empire of more than 1000 operated and licensed stores outside America. 

Wollongong’s Toys “R” Us store on Ellen Street was trading as usual on Wednesday.

The Shellharbour store, in the Stockland Retail Park on New Lake Entrance Road, is a combined Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us superstore.

A company statement said only the American and Canadian businesses were impacted by the move in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“The company's operations outside of the US and Canada, including its operations in Europe and Australia and its approximately 255 licensed stores and joint venture partnership in Asia, which are separate entities, are not part of the Chapter 11 filing,” the statement said.

An Australian spokeswoman said: “Our stores are open and will continue to provide Toys “R” Us Australian customers with our signature fantastic service”.