Bankrupt Toys R Us won’t release holiday sales results for the first time in more than a decade, USA Today’s NorthJersey.com reports. Earlier this week the company said it will close 180 stores as part of a restructuring effort.
In a letter to customers this week, CEO David Brandon said that over the holidays the retailer committed "operational missteps" that failed to make it easy for many of its customers to shop online and in its stores.
A Toys R Us spokesperson told Retail Dive in an email the company has not announced plans for holiday results and declined to describe specifics of the challenges.
Toys R Us, a chain especially dependent on the holiday season, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this fall.
"The timing of all of this could not have been worse, as the company is in the process of building holiday inventory," Brandon said in the filing, adding that Toys R Us generates 40% of its annual revenue in the weeks before Christmas.
The previous year, the retailer had a strong start to the holidays, but in the weeks following Black Friday it faced sluggish sales and intense promotional activity. In the end in 2016, the company's all-important fourth quarter consolidated net sales fell $192 million year-over-year to $4.66 billion, due mainly to a decline in same-stores sales and store closures in the U.S., including the company’s Times Square flagship store in New York.
It’s not clear what operational missteps Brandon is referring to in his message to customers. In light of reported squeamishness on the part of vendors worried about the bankruptcy, the retailer may have struggled to maintain adequate inventory of in-demand toys, although in October the company sought to assure customers that its supply chain was nearly fully operational and that its stores were "better than we've been stocked before."
Price may also have been an issue amid fierce competition in the sector. The retailer in November announced a new price matching policy in an effort to combat Amazon's rising toy sales and increased toy offerings at several other retailers including department stores, but suspended it during the Black Friday shopping weekend.