January 24, 2018

Toys R Us to close four Central Mass. stores

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The Toys R Us and Babies R Us store in Northborough and three others others in Central Mass. are slated to close.

Toys R Us plans to close 182 stores in the U.S., including the Millbury, Northborough, Bellingham and Framingham locations.

The Millbury and Framingham and Northborough locations to close are Babies R Us stores, while the Northborough location combines both stores.

The toy chain filed for bankruptcy in September, claiming assets as of April of $6.5 billion and debts of almost $7.9 billion. On Tuesday, it filed plans to close the stores, which is expected to begin in early February after approval from a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge.

On its website, the company said it has about $5 billion of debt on its balance sheet.

"This debt has held us back from making the investments we need to compete effectively in what has become an increasingly challenging and rapidly changing retail marketplace worldwide," the company said.

In a filing Tuesday, the company cited a shift toward online shopping and away from brick and mortar stores.

A substantial number of employees will be terminated as a result, but the company did not disclose how many.

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