Charles Lazarus, a veteran of World War II, opened Children’s Bargain Town, Washington, D.C. in 1948.

Lazarus began selling toys two more years later. He quickly realized that toys were not in fashion anymore and that they broke. Parents returned to the store to get more toys.

He restructured the business and opened his first toys-only store in June 1957.   

Toys R Us was looking to diversify its business and opened Kids R Us stores, Paramus, New Jersey and Brookyln in New York, in the early 1980s.

The company also opened branches in Canada and Singapore.

The chain was established in the UK in 1985. It now has 105 outlets in England, Scotland and Wales.

It realized the potential of the internet in 1998 and allowed people to shop online at

Toys R Us’ UK arm was plunged into crisis last year after its American parent company declared bankruptcy in the US and Canada.

The US bankruptcy process works differently from the UK. Companies can seek court support for a plan to save their business if they have the backing of lenders.

At first Toys R Us said stores in Britain would not be affected but soon afterwards bosses here announced they would axe hundreds of jobs and a quarter of the chain’s 105 stores in a bid to balance the books. 

Its bid to push the changes through under a so-called company voluntary agreement hit a stumbling block, however, because of a row over a £30million black hole in its pension scheme.

Toys R Us needed approval from the Pension Protection Fund, which refused to give it unless the firm injected nearly £10m into its retirement pot.

After a tense showdown, bosses eventually agreed to pay £3.8million this year and another £6million over 2019 and 2020.

This deal was supposed give the company breathing space but it ended up in administration in 2018.