While Toys R Us has disappeared from the United States, it is going strong in Asia, which plans to open 60 new stores throughout the region this year.
According to the South China Morning Post, the company, backed by Fung Retailing Group, will open most of the newest locations in China, and is also considering Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. It currently operates more than 550 stores in the region.
“We are cautiously optimistic,” said Jo Hall, Toys R Us chief commercial officer for Greater China and Southeast Asia. “We continue to invest in refurbishing existing and opening new stores, and our investment budget in Hong Kong [for stores, information technology and online commerce] this year is the same as last year.”
As it thrives in Asia, CEO David Brandon said earlier this year that Toys R Us may liquidate its operations in France, Spain, Poland and Australia. In addition, the company was looking for a buyer for its Canadian business.
This follows Toys R Us shuttering all of its U.S. locations last June after failing to restructure its debt or find a buyer. The following month, the company came to a settlement agreement with some creditors, including vendors, to resolve its disputes related to bankruptcy proceedings. The settlement includes a pot of funds for claims, including a baseline recovery of $180 million for participating creditors and shared recovery after some secured lenders have received at least 50 percent of the $1 billion they’re owed.
But in October, it was reported that lenders were interested in reorganizing the company’s assets into a new firm, allowing it to invest in new retail operating businesses and maintain license agreements.
“The company did generate operating profits — and without debt, its profitability would be easier to maintain,” Seth R. Freeman, senior managing director at GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group, said at the time.