Toys R Us reverses decision to close Newport News store

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (CNN/WAVY) — Toys R Us is planning to shutter a fifth of its U.S. stores, but a Hampton Roads location originally on that list is no longer.

The troubled retailer, which declared bankruptcy in September, is looking to close down as many as 182 outlets across the country, according to a court filing in January.

That original document showed that the Babies R Us store at 12153 Jefferson Avenue in Newport News was among the planned closings.An updated list released Wednesday, Feb. 7 shows the Newport News location has been removed from the list.

10 On Your Side also confirmed with a store employee that they were informed the location is no longer closing.

A store in Potomac Mills, Virginia is still on the list.

Over nearly seven decades in business, Toys R Us has built up 1,600 stores around the world. About 880 of them are in the U.S.

The filing by the company’s lawyers said the decision to shut so many stores was prompted by increased competition and a shift by customers toward online shopping.

The planned closures, which need court approval, are expected to begin early next month and be mostly completed by the end of April, Toys R Us CEO Dave Brandon said in a message to customers posted on the company’s website.

“The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company,” he said.

Several other stores will be converted into co-branded Toys R Us and Babies R Us outlets, Brandon added.

Toys R Us stores outside the U.S. are unaffected.

Melanie Teed-Murch, president of Toys R Us Canada, said in a statement that all 83 locations there would continue operating as usual.

Toys R Us has suffered from fierce competition from fellow retailer Walmart and online giant Amazon that left it reeling under $5 billion in debt.

The company’s same-store sales fell 4.4% in the quarter ended October, with its U.S. stores experiencing a sharper drop of 7 percent. The toy industry at large is also facing headwinds, with key manufacturers like Lego and Mattel struggling with declining sales.

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