Kirkcaldy Toys R Us branch to close

Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Staff at Kirkcaldy’s branch of Toys R Us were today told that their store will be one of the 26 marked for closure across the UK.

The troubled company announced this afternoon which branches are to be axed as part of a UK-wide reorganisation.

Kayleigh Wishart, age four, won a Fife Free Press competition top open the store in 2009. She was pictured with store manager Jamie McVicar, along with her parents Steven and Claire Wishart.

Kayleigh Wishart, age four, won a Fife Free Press competition top open the store in 2009. She was pictured with store manager Jamie McVicar, along with her parents Steven and Claire Wishart.

The move could mean as many as 800 jobs lost - around a quarter of their entire workforce – and all efforts will be made to redeploy team members where possible, says the firm.

Workers at the Kirkcaldy store, which is located at the town’s retail park, will be given the news about their future today.

A spokesman at Toys R Us refused to say how many staff in Kirkcaldy would be affected.

He added: “It’s likely that the Toys ‘R’ Us store in Kirkcaldy will close in the Spring 2018.

“We will continue to honour gift cards and Take Time to Pay agreements and there will be no change to our returns policy.”

The company says there will be no disruption for customers shopping through the Christmas and New Year period.

The store first opened in 2009, and was opened by four-year-old Kayleigh Wishart, after she won a Fife Free Press Competition.

Other Scottish branches marked for closure include Aberdeen, East Kilbride, and Livingston.

Toys R Us is looking to make drastic changes to the way it operates in future, and is working on a company voluntary agreement (CVA).

Under the CVA process, Toys R Us UK has submitted a plan to its creditors. If approved, the CVA plan would substantially reduce the UK company’s rental obligations and allow the business to move to a new business model.

Steve Knights, Managing Director of Toys R Us UK, said: “We recognise this process will affect many of our team members and their families, so we are committed to keeping all of our staff informed throughout this process. Our teams will continue to play a key role in turning our business around.

“All of our stores across the UK remain open for business as normal through Christmas and well into the New Year. Customers can also continue to shop online and there will be no changes to our returns policies or gift cards across this period.

“Like many UK retailers in today’s market environment, we need to transform our business so that we have a platform that can better meet customers’ evolving needs. The decision to propose this CVA was a difficult one, but we determined it is the best path forward to make essential changes to the business.

“Our newer, smaller, more interactive stores are in the right shopping locations and are trading well, while our new website has generated significant growth in online and click-and-collect sales. But the warehouse style stores we opened in the 1980s and 1990s, while successful in the early days, are too big and expensive to run in the current retail environment. The business has been lossmaking in recent years and so we need to take strong and decisive action to accelerate the transformation.”