STORE SPACES

Toys ‘R’ Us will live on in Canada

BY Marianne Wilson

Toys “R” Us stores will remain up and running in Canada, while its stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland will be rebranded.

The retailer, which is currently conducting one of the largest-ever U.S. retail liquidations, agreed at a bankruptcy court hearing on Tuesday to sell its 82-store Canadian unit to Toronto-based investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. for approximately $234 million dollars ($C300). Fairfax, which submitted the sole bid for the division, will continue operating Toys “R” Us stores in Canada under the company’s existing name.

In Europe, Ireland-based Smyths Toys has agreed to acquire Toys “R” Us’ 93 stores and websites in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The family-owned Smyths, which currently operates 90 stores throughout Britain and Northern Ireland and 21 shops in the Republic of Ireland, plans to rebrand the Toys “R” Us stores under its own banner.

“We are convinced about the future of multichannel specialist toy retail and are confident that we can successfully introduce and grow our brand in continental Europe,” co-founder Tony Smyth said.

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