NEW YORK (Reuters) via NewsEdge Corporation - Toys R Us, the world's largest toy retailer, said Wednesday it will close 90 stores and take a $495 million charge in the third quarter as part of a plan to cut costs and improve performance.
The number of jobs affected was not immediately available.
Of the stores being closed or sold, 50 will be from the international operations and nine will be in the United States. The company is also closing 31 Kids R Us apparel stores in the United States as it reformats some of its combination toy and apparel stores.
Toys R Us expects the restructuring to improve its free cash flow and increase operating earnings by more than $75 million in 1999 and more in future years, the retailer said.
Toys R Us is planning a redesign of its stores as part of its plan to improve performance by offering expanded selling space to accommodate a larger electronics department, a section dedicated to promotional merchandise and kids apparel.
The plan is for 200 of its 697 U.S. toy stores to be converted to the format during 1999. Most of the rest will changed to the format by October 2000, the company said.