Could Toys 'R' Us be about to close more stores?

Bloomberg reports the beleaguered retailer is considering at least 100 closures.
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The Essentials

1. Since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September, Toys 'R' Us is now seeing reportedly weak sales during the holiday season.

2. Citing sources with knowledge of the situation, Bloomberg reported this week that the toy retailer is considering closing at least 100 stores, but potentially as many as 200.

3. The company also reported disappointing 3rd quarter results on Tuesday, noting sales declines in stores, particularly in the baby category.

The Big Picture

An already crappy year is getting crappier for Toys 'R' Us, with Time noting its struggles echo the wider challenges facing bricks-and-mortar retailers against the tide of online shopping.

Toys 'R' Us executives managed to remain upbeat when filing for bankruptcy protection in September, saying it still planned to open more stores in high traffic areas.

But continuing downturn in its business leaves it facing "tough choices," Bloomberg says, noting that the bankruptcy process makes it easier to exit leases and shut down worst-performing locations.

It has 879 stores in the U.S. currently, of which eight are in Minnesota.

Five of these are Toys 'R' Us stores, the other three Babies 'R' Us locations.

Should further shutdowns follow in the new year, one of the biggest beneficiaries is likely to be Target.

CNBC reports that Target is the one retailer that shares shoppers and locations similar to Toys 'R' Us, with retail analysts saying the Minneapolis-based company should stand to pick up some of Toys 'R' Us' lost sales.

Some 93 percent of Toys 'R' Us stores are within a 15 minute drive of a Target, CNBC notes, and recent investments by Target in its toy division could be about to pay off handsomely.

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