Toys R Us closing 180 stores, including several in Southern California

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Toys R Us is planning to shut down more than 180 stores, including several locations in Southern California.

The company is closing about 20 percent of its locations under a plan to restructure and emerge from bankruptcy protection.

According to a list provided by Toys R Us, Southland stores slated for closure include those in: Brea, Brentwood, Corona, Indio, Industry, Riverside, San Diego area (Mira Mesa, Mission Bay, Vista), Santa Ana, Santa Clarita, Simi Valley, Torrance, West Covina and Westminster.

Toys R Us operates about 900 stores in the U.S. The store closings will begin in February, and the majority of the targeted locations will go dark by mid-April. At some other locations, the retailer is combining its Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.

Going out of business sales are set to start next month.

Hobbled by $5 billion in debt, the company that once dominated toy sales in the U.S. filed for bankruptcy protection in September. Chairman and CEO Dave Brandon said in a letter Wednesday that tough decisions are required to save Toys R Us.

The toy chain is not alone in its struggles. About three dozen retailers sought bankruptcy protection last year due in large part to a radical shift in consumer behavior, both in where they shop, and what they buy. Some of the retailers that have gone under have been small, but there are also big names on the list, like Payless Shoe Source, Gymboree Corp. and True Religion jeans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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