KB Toys stores on holiday bubble - East Valley Tribune: Business

KB Toys stores on holiday bubble

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Posted: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 6:21 am | Updated: 6:14 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A KB Toys store at Fiesta Mall in Mesa and two Phoenix stores may get the boot if they don’t sell enough Big Wheels and Barbies during the holidays.

The struggling toy seller said Tuesday it will shed 141 to 238 underperforming stores by Jan. 31 as part of its reorganization efforts.

Three Valley KB Toys stores — at Fiesta Mall, Desert Sky Mall and Metrocenter — made the list of potential closings released Tuesday.

Pittsfield, Mass.-based KB Toys scrapped its Scottsdale Fashion Square store in February, just weeks after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors. The 80-year-old retailer blamed a disappointing holiday take and competition from the mass discounters for its financial woes.

When the economy started to slump at the turn of the century, toy shoppers increasingly switched to mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart and Target where they can buy bicycles and board games at bargain prices.

During the first half of the year, KB Toys shed 427 stores and 3,400 jobs.

Company spokesman John Reilly said Tuesday that officials will not discuss employment figures or the fate of individual stores at this time. He said all stores, including those definitely or potentially scheduled to be closed in January, will be fully stocked for holiday shoppers.

Besides the three on the list of potential closings, KB Toys has stores at Superstition Springs Center in Mesa, Chandler Fashion Center, Arizona Mills mall in Tempe, Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix and six other Arizona shopping centers.

The company has outlet stores in Chandler, Mesa and two other Valley locations.

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