Toys R Us will likely shut all US stores, risking 33,000 jobs: WSJ

March 14 (Reuters) - Iconic toy store chain Toys 'R' Us Inc will sell or close all its U.S. stores in the coming months, risking up to 33,000 jobs, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The announcement was made to workers by Chief Executive David Brandon at the toy-store chain's Wayne, New Jersey headquarters, the Journal said.

The closure of Toys 'R' Us is a blow to generations of consumers and hundreds of toy makers that sold their products at the chain's 885 U.S. locations, including Barbie maker Mattel Inc, board game company Hasbro Inc and other large vendors such as Lego.

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Toys R Us Times Square flagship store
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Toys R Us Times Square flagship store
Customers ride the ferries wheel at the Toys'R'Us Times Square flagship store December 24, 2015 in New York. The 110,000 square foot toy store is scheduled to close Dec 30, 2015 after the toy chain declined to renew its lease. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Customers ride the ferries wheel at the Toys'R'Us Times Square flagship store December 24, 2015 in New York. The 110,000 square foot toy store is scheduled to close Dec 30, 2015 after the toy chain declined to renew its lease. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Customers enter and exit the Toys'R'Us Times Square flagship store December 24, 2015 in New York. The 110,000 square foot toy store is scheduled to close Dec 30, 2015 after the toy chain declined to renew its lease. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
Customers ride escalator at the Toys'R'Us Times Square flagship store December 24, 2015 in New York. The 110,000 square foot toy store is scheduled to close Dec 30, 2015 after the toy chain declined to renew its lease. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT / AFP / DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 13: General view of atmosphere At Toys'R'Us Times Square on December 13, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
Pedestrians walk past a Toys R Us Inc. store ahead of Black Friday in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. U.S. retailers will kick off holiday shopping earlier than ever this year as stores prepare to sell some discounted items at a loss in a battle for consumers. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 28: Customers descend the escalator at the Toys'R'Us in Times Square on Thanksgiving day on November 28, 2013 in New York City. Black Friday shopping began early again this year with most major retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving day. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 28: A sign marks the entrance to the Toys 'R' Us store in Times Square in New York, U.S., on Thursday, May 28, 2009. Toys 'R' Us Inc., the largest U.S. toy-store chain, acquired FAO Schwarz to take over the retailer's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York and increase its market share. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Toys R Us Times Square during New York City Scenes in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by M. Von Holden/FilmMagic)
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Toys 'R' Us, which has roughly 33,000 full- and part-time U.S. employees, was already in the process of closing one fifth of its stores as part of efforts to emerge from one of the largest ever bankruptcies by a specialty retailer.

Efforts collapsed this month after lenders decided, absent a clear reorganization plan, they could recover more in a liquidation, closing stores and raising money from merchandise sales, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

"I have always believed that this brand and this business should exist in the U.S.," Brandon said on a conference call with staff, the Wall Street Journal said.

The retailer is likely to liquidate in France, Spain, Poland and Australia, Brandon said, according the newspaper. He added that Toys 'R' Us also planned to sell operations in Canada, Central Europe and Asia.

Toys 'R' Us is trying to package its Canadian business with 200 U.S. stores and find a buyer, the CEO said, according to the Journal. 

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