Posted on Wednesday 14 March 2018 by John Mulgrew
Retailer Toys R Us is expected to close all of its UK stores within the next six weeks, it has emerged.
The toy chain appointed Moorfields Advisory to oversee an administration at the end of February after the firm failed to find a last-minute rescuer.
Toys R Us operate four stores Northern Ireland, including Belfast city centre, Newtownabbey, Londonderry and Lisburn.
Moorfields said it would begin an "orderly wind-down" of stores and it is now understood that the insolvency specialist is poised to close the first batch as it runs down stock, with hundreds of jobs set to be lost.
Outlets in Londonderry and Newtownabbey were two of those stores marked for closure, which was expected to happen in the spring.
It is thought Moorfields will begin with the closure of at least 26 loss-making stores earmarked late last year, when Toys R Us pushed through a restructuring before its demise.
Toys R Us is one of the nation's biggest toy retailers, employing more than 3,000 across 100 stores in the UK.
Moorfields said at the time of the chain's collapse that it is making "every effort" to secure a buyer for all or part of the business, but sources indicated that this was unlikely in what is proving to be a dire time for high street retailers.
If no buyer emerges for the business, then stores will be sold off piecemeal or closed down.