Retailer Toys R Us told employees that it is closing or selling all of its stores in the United States as part of a liquidation plan expected to be submitted to a bankruptcy court Wednesday, according to published reports.
A decision to liquidate would affect three Kansas City area Toys R Us locations, two Babies R Us stores and a warehouse operation in Lee's Summit. Employment totals for those locations were not immediately available.
The company has about 33,000 employees.
Toys R Us plans to close its more than 700 stores over time rather than all at once, according to a report by The Washington Post, which did not identify its sources.
The company has been in bankruptcy reorganization since September, a move that protects a struggling company from those it owes money while it comes up with a plan to reorganize and continues to do business.
In its report, The Journal quoted Brandon from a conference call with staff.
"I have always believed that this brand and this business should exist in the U.S.,” Brandon said, according to The Journal.
Brandon then criticized suppliers that he said had failed to support Toys R Us during the recent holiday shopping season — and customers who shopped at other retailers — "will all live to regret what’s happening here,” The Journal's account said.
Toys R Us announced Wednesday that it is closing its stores in Britain after failing to find buyers, according to a report by The New York Times. It previously said it would close 182 U.S. stores as part of a reorganization effort.
Brandon, according to The Journal, told employees that the company not only is shutting down its U.S. operations but likely would liquidate it business in four other countries and sell its operations in Canada and parts of Europe and Asia.