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Toys ‘R’ Us stores in Asia unaffected by US retailer’s bankruptcy filing

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Gokongwei-led Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. holds the license for Toys “R” Us in the Philippines. -- ROBINSONS RETAIL HOLDINGS

THE Asian operations of Toys “R” Us will not be affected by the American toy retailer’s bankruptcy filing on Tuesday, according to the company.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Toys “R” Us (Asia) Ltd. clarified it is a separate legal entity from Toys “R” Us, Inc., making it financially independent from all other Toys “R” Us operating firms globally.

Toys “R” Us (Asia) is a 85-15 joint venture of Toys “R” Us, Inc. and Fung Retailing Ltd. under the Fung Group, a privately held firm based in Hong Kong.

“Toys “R” Us (Asia) is open for business and continuing to serve our customers as we always do. We are a financially robust and self-funding retail operation, which continues to significantly grow and invest in this region,” the company’s President Andre Javes was quoted as saying in a statement.

“As the leading toy, baby and educational products retailer for children in Asia, we are very focused on delivering our full year results. Our teams are committed to excite our customers with unique and differentiated ranges, both online and a thrilling hands-on experience in store,” Mr. Javes added.

There are currently 226 Toys “R” Us stores spread out across Greater China and Southeast Asia, particularly in Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

The toy retailer licenses a combined number of 35 stores in the Philippines and Macau. Gokongwei-led Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. is the operator of the brand locally. 

“Every year we are opening new stores in all our markets and particularly in China where we now operate over 135 stores and will be opening another 22 in the coming weeks,” Mr. Javes said.

AFP reported Toys “R” Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a US court, amid heavy debt and a tough environment for bricks and mortar stores.

The company will “restructure its outstanding debt and establish a sustainable capital structure that will enable it to invest in long-term growth and fuel its aspirations to bring play to kids everywhere and be a best friend to parents,” Toys “R” Us said in a statement late Monday.

It noted that operations outside the US and Canada, “including its approximately 255 licensed stores and joint venture partnership in Asia,” are not part of the bankruptcy proceedings. — Arra B. Francia with AFP

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