Toys R Us is a major retailer of toys and video games that is well-known by most. But it was recently suggested that financial troubles meant that the company would have to file for bankruptcy sometime next year. However, it seems that that day has come a lot sooner than expected.

Today, Toys R Us has announced that it has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Canada – a voluntary move that had been done to relieve the retailer of its debt. Toys R Us owes $4.9 billion in total, with interest payments on $400 million of that figure due in 2018 and with $1.7 billion of its debt due to be paid in 2019. Dave Brandon, the chairman and CEO of Toys R Us said that the filing “marks the dawn of a new era,” and that he expects “the financial constraints that have held us back will be addressed in a lasting and effective way.”

Toys R Us wants to restructure its debt, which Brandon hopes will see the brand “live on for many generations.” The retailer also said that the leases of its stores, of which there are around 1,600 across the globe, are a “substantial burden.” Although Toys R Us hopes to renegotiate the leases on its stores, it’s understandable that some have concerns that stores may have to close in the long-term.

There is good news in the short-term at least, as Toys R Us has confirmed that its stores will remain open during the busy holiday season. In a series of tweets earlier this morning, the retailer said that it would continue to honor return policies, warranties, and gift cards, while “loyalty programs are expected to continue as normal.”

While things seem to be stable for now, many will be wondering if Toys R Us can turn it around with the help of the holiday shopping season. People have already been flocking to Toys R Us for Nintendo Switch stock and demand for the console is only set to skyrocket as Christmas approaches. In-demand retro console the SNES Classic Edition is also on sale through 2018, which could also benefit the retailer’s bottom line.

On top of this, the video game release schedule for holiday 2017 looks positively jam-packed. October will see many major games released, and in November, the Xbox One X console will be available to all. Toys R Us does face stiff competition on these products, but it could just be enough to stave off any further financial difficulties.

Source: Toys R Us

Image source: Mike Klasnik via Wikimedia Commons (under Creative Commons license)