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Four Toys R Us stores in Northern Ireland to shut with loss of 120 jobs after failure to find buyer

By Margaret Canning

The loss of around 120 jobs at four Toys R Us stores in Northern Ireland has been confirmed after administrators failed to find a buyer for the stricken chain.

Administrators Moorfields Advisory have already pulled down the shutters at stores at Crescent Link Retail Park, Londonderry, and Mill Road at Newtownabbey.

Stores in Belfast's CastleCourt Shopping Centre and Lisburn's Sprucefield Park will also close within the next six weeks after closing-down sales.

In total, around 120 people in Northern Ireland will lose their jobs, out of a workforce of 3,000 around the UK.

The stores which have already been closed were previously identified for closure before the administration.

Simon Thomas, joint administrator and partner at Moorfields, said: "We have made every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the company's business.

"This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid prior to the expiration of the stated deadline."

But the firm said it had extended a sale in the stores, saying it was "the most comprehensive toy and baby product discounting programme available to consumers in the UK".

The firm said: "Many outdoor toys including bikes and ride-ons are now available at 30% discounts."

Glyn Roberts, the chief executive of trade body Retail NI, said: "It's very sad for the staff and their families that this has happened, and I hope that they will be able to find alternative jobs in the retail sector.

"When retailers go out of business it also brings a knock-on reduction in footfall for neighbouring shops and other businesses."

He said Toys R Us had faced tough competition from both online retailers and from supermarkets selling the same toys at lower prices.

"To survive in the retail business means having to adapt and sadly if you can't adapt, you won't survive."

The insolvency of Toys R Us was announced on the same day as electrical retailer Maplin announced it was going into administration.

Maplin has five stores here in total. Chief executive Graham Harris said it had been struggling to mitigate the impact of the pound's devaluation after the Brexit vote and a weak consumer environment.

Belfast Telegraph

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