Toys R Us Asia reasserts growth plans

Toys R Us Asia has repeated earlier assertions that its business will not be affected by the liquidation of Toys R Us stores in the US and UK, amid reports that Australian operations would likely need to close.

Toys R Us Asia’s joint-venture partner Fung Retailing, which owns approximately 15 per cent of the toy retailer’s Asia-Pacific arm, has clarified with Inside Retail that its 400 stores in greater China and Southeast Asia remain open for business.

“Toys R Us Asia is open for business and continuing to serve our customers as we always do,” Toys R Us Asia president Andre Javes said.

“We are a financially robust and self-funding retail operation, which continues to significantly grow and invest in this region.

“Every year we are opening new stores in all our markets and particularly in China where we now operate over 150 stores and will be opening another 30 in the coming months.”

Toys R Us Asia operates as a separate legal entity to Toys R Us Inc, and according to Fung is “financially independent from all other Toys R Us operating companies around the world”.

Last week, Toys R Us’s US-based CEO David Brandon was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying that the retailer’s 39 stores in Australia would likely be liquidated.

The Australian operations are currently being run by local MD Dianne Guerreiro, who less than six months ago was charting expansion for the business, outlining a plan to open up to 20 stores in the coming years.

Toys R Us Australia has also said it is “business as usual” despite the US collapse.

The US parent announced that it would be winding down the majority of its operations last week after efforts to save the company collapsed when lenders decided not to extend their support for the ailing business.

The toy retailer, which has more than 800 stores across America, has struggled to keep up with escalating competition from the likes of Amazon and Walmart in recent years, particularly as online shopping has become more prevalent.

Fung Retailing did not elaborate on its plans for the Asian arm if its US-based partner Toys R Us Inc goes under.

Fung has been contacted for further comment.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.