Toys R Us is exploring a plan that could keep 200 stores open even after liquidation

Toys R Us is exploring a plan that could keep 200 stores open even after liquidation

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

A woman shops at a Toys R Us store in Alhambra, California.

Toys R Us is studying one proposal that could keep the business afloat and keep open roughly 200 U.S. stores open after the retailer liquidates, people familiar with the situation told CNBC on Wednesday.

Such a deal would therefore keep the lights on at roughly one quarter of its 800 U.S. stores. It has already started the process of shuttering approximately 180 of them.

CNBC reported yesterday the iconic U.S. retailer is in the process of drafting the court motion for its liquidation plan that could come as soon as the end of the day Wednesday. It will then begin to wind down the storied toy retailer, after more than half a century in business.

Even as it winds down, the retailer is looking for ways to keep the brand alive, said the people familiar with the company’s plans. In one plan, the company would sell the stronger Toys R Us Canadian business, along with roughly 200 of its most profitable U.S. stores, to a new buyer. The new business would then be run out of Canada.

The company does not plan to liquidate its Canadian business.

There is no buyer secured yet, though there are several circulating, the sources said. It is possible Toys R Us only finds a buyer for the Canadian operations and not any U.S. stores.

The people, who requested anonymity because the information is confidential, cautioned that plans continue to evolve for the retailer, even as it puts the final touches on its liquidation plans. It is possible that it finds no buyer and it is also possible the number of the U.S. stores it looks to keep open changes.

Toys R Us’s U.K. operations on Wednesday announced it will be shuttering the group’s store base within six weeks. The U.K. arm of Toys “R” Us in Februrary entered administration, a form of creditor protection.

Toys R Us declined to comment.

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