The founder of Toys R Us, Charles Lazarus, has died aged 94, after a period of declining health.
He founded the company and began selling toys 1957, after he returned from military service in the Second World War.
The toy retail firm has issued the following statement: “There have been many sad moments for Toys R Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus, after a period of declining health.
“He visited us in New Jersey just last year and we will forever be grateful for his positive energy, passion for the customer and love for children everywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ family and loved ones.”
All UK and US stores are poised to shut down after administrators failed to find a buyer, resulting in a store closure programme and a possible 3,000 job losses.
Toys R Us was facing a £15m VAT bill, however poor sales has meant it was unable to pay the debt. The firm appointed Moorfields Advisory partners Simon Thomas and Arron Kendall to oversee an administration at the end of February.
Thomas said: “We have made every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the company’s business. This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid prior to the expiration of the stated deadline.”