According to multiple sources, Toys “R” Us has hired lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis to help restructure its roughly $400 million in debt due in 2018. Sources say the retailer’s options include potentially filing for bankruptcy protection.
The company has already announced it is working with Lazard to help address its debt load, and it successfully refinanced some of its debt just a year ago.
“As we previously discussed on our first quarter earnings call, Toys “R” Us is evaluating a range of alternatives to address our 2018 debt maturities, which may include the possibility of obtaining additional financing,” Toys “R” Us spokeswoman Amy von Walter said in a statement. “We expect to provide an update about these activities, as well as the many initiatives underway to provide an outstanding customer experience in our global retail locations and webstore during the holiday season, during our second quarter earnings call.”
Toys R Us will have its second-quarter earnings call on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
Like most of the toy industry, Toys “R” Us relies heavily on fourth quarter sales to sustain its business, and last year’s holiday sales were down 3.4 percent from the previous holiday season. Many in the industry blame “The Amazon Effect” and low price points at mass retailers such as Walmart for declining sales.
Toys “R” Us recently announced it will open a pop-up shop in Times Square this holiday season.