Toys “R” Us Looks to Close Six Massachusetts Stores

The toy chain plans to shutter more than 180 outposts across the country as it tries to rebound from bankruptcy.

Montgomeryville, United States - March 20, 2011: The Toys "R" Us store located in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania. It is the largest toy-centered retailer and the second largest overall toy retailer in the United States.

Photo via iStock/youngvet

It’s not all fun and games for Toys “R” Us.

On Wednesday, the New Jersey-based company announced its plan to close roughly 180 stores across the country, including six outposts in Massachusetts, as it tries to climb out of bankruptcy and restructure $5 billion-worth of debt. The Bellingham, Dedham, Framingham, Holyoke, Millbury, and Northborough stores will all shutter as part of a sweeping wave that will shrink the number of domestic Toys “R” Us locations by 20 percent.

In a statement, Toys “R” Us CEO Dave Brandon said the closures are part of a broader brand reinvention, as the company tries to improve the customer experience and keep up with competitive giants like Amazon and Target.

“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 that will provide the level of service and experience you should expect from a market leader,” Brandon said in the statement.

The closures are set to happen quickly, with the first stores shuttering in early February, and most closing in mid-April. A spokeswoman told the New York Times that as many as 4,500 workers could be affected by the closures, which target stores that failed to meet “performance standards.” Sixteen Toys “R” Us stores will be left in Massachusetts when all is said and done.