It’s a very dark day for British retailers and their workers.
Toys “R” Us and electronics chain Maplin have collapsed in the UK, putting a combined 5,300 retail jobs at risk.
Administrators were appointed Wednesday to run both businesses after executives failed to find buyers.
Toys “R” Us is one of the UK’s largest toy retailers with 3,000 staff and 105 stores across the country. Maplin employs just over 2,300 staff at more than 200 stores, selling electronics, tech toys and smart-home devices.
Investors took fright at the news, selling off shares in some other British retailers. Mothercare, which sells maternity and baby products, saw its shares plunge 10% in London trading.
Insolvency specialist Moorfields Advisory has been put in charge of winding down Toys “R” Us, closing stores and selling off assets. The collapse into administration follows Toys “R” Us filing for bankruptcy in the US in September under the weight of $5 billion in debt.
Stores will remain open until further notice, and no decision has yet been taken on how many will eventually close, said Simon Thomas, a partner at Moorfields Advisory. But many Toys “R” Us staff were likely to be affected, he added.