Lincoln Toys ‘R’ Us safe after retailer announces nationwide closures

The Lincoln Toys ‘R’ Us store on St Marks is safe after the retailer announced 26 stores across the country would be closing early next year.

As previously reported, the toy chain will be closing a number of its stores in early 2018, due to them being ‘too big and expensive to run’.

This will put some 800 jobs at risk across the country.

Lincoln will now be the only location in the county to have a Toys ‘R’ Us store, as the only other store in Scunthorpe will close in 2018.

The retailer, which currently employs around 3,200 people in the UK, will continue to sell toys online and its smaller, ‘more interactive’ stores across the country will remain open.

It has not yet been announced when sites will officially close.

Steve Knights, managing director of Toys R Us UK, said: “Like many UK retailers in today’s market environment, we need to transform our business so that we have a platform that can better meet customers’ evolving needs.

“Our newer, smaller, more interactive stores are in the right shopping locations and are trading well, while our new website has generated significant growth in online and click-and-collect sales.

“But the warehouse style stores we opened in the 1980’s and 1990’s, while successful in the early days, are too big and expensive to run in the current retail environment.

“The business has been lossmaking in recent years and so we need to take strong and decisive action to accelerate the transformation.”

Artist impressions for the new St Marks complex

Outline planning permission was also granted earlier this year for a £150 million redevelopment of St Marks.

The redevelopment would see all units to the west of Debenhams, including the Lincoln Toys ‘R’ Us store, demolished and replaced with new retail units, a multi-storey car park, hotel, flats and student accommodation.