News is spreading today that struggling retail chain Toys 'R' Us plans to sell or close all of its roughly 800 U.S. storefronts, cutting as many as 33,000 jobs in the process.
This is a big deal for the game industry since Toys 'R' Us is one of the few remaining U.S. retail chains which devotes significant shelf space to video games, game consoles and accessories.
Toys 'R' Us has reportedly faced mounting financial problems, and last September the company filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Canada as it sought to restructure its debt. This week it also came to light that the company is planning to shut down all 100 of its stores in the U.K., axing roughly 3,000 jobs along the way.
Today, both The Washington Post and CNN report that an unnamed source has told them the company intends to get rid of all of its U.S. stores, while The Wall Street Journal reports that Toys 'R' Us employees have been informed of the same plan.
However, it's yet unclear how that will play out. According to the Post, a group of toy companies led by MGA Entertainment (which makes toys like Bratz dolls and Glam Goo) have made a bid to acquire 82 of the Toys 'R' Us stores in Canada.
MGA CEO Isaac Larian says he's also considering buying up to 400 of the chain's U.S. storefronts, which he would continue to operate under the Toys 'R' Us name.
"It’s a big deal and I’m going to try to salvage as much of it as possible," Larian told the Post. "There is no toy business without Toys 'R' Us."