Toys R Us files for bankruptcy protection

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Toys R Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, has announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations.

A statement by the Wayne, New Jersey-based company late Monday says it voluntarily is seeking relief in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond - and that its Canadian subsidiary is seeking similar protection through a Canadian court.

Toys R Us says court-supervised proceedings will help restructure its outstanding debt and reorganize for long-term growth. The company says separate operations outside the U.S. and Canada, including more than 250 licensed stores and a joint venture partnership in Asia, are not part of the filings.

It emphasizes that its approximately 1,600 locations will remain open and that it will continue to work with suppliers and sell merchandise.

Toys R Us joins a growing list of companies struggling to navigate a retail landscape altered by technology and by changing consumer tastes. There is even a new term that has emerged which points to the dire state if the industry: Chapter 22. Those are companies that have been forced to seek bankruptcy protection for the second time.

Following are the retailers that have sought bankruptcy protection just this year:

1.The Limited
2.Wet Seal*
3.Eastern Outfitters
4.BCBG Max Azria
9.Gander Mountain
10.Payless ShoeSource*
13.Cornerstone Apparel, owner of Papaya Clothing
14.True Religion Apparel
15.Alfred Angelo
17.Vitamin World
19.Toys r Us

*Second bankruptcy protection filing by Wet Seal and RadioShack. Payless ShoeSource emerged from bankruptcy protection in August, while Rue21 received court approval to emerge from bankruptcy last week.