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Toys 'R' Us cuts 500 jobs

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Toys 'R' Us signage at its Times Square location.
Toys 'R' Us signage at its Times Square location. - ()

Wayne-based Toys 'R' Us announced Wednesday it has cut 500 jobs as part of its strategic plan to bolster the struggling company.

Roughly 100 of those jobs have been cut from the Wayne headquarters. The rest came from Toys 'R' Us locations around the world.

"We are going through the painful exercise of right-sizing the business," Chief Executive Antonio Urcelay said during a media event. ""We are introducing cuts in everything from maintenance to technology, streamlining our supply chain to require less inventory and concentrating our efforts on fewer vendors."

The company did not provide details about which jobs had been eliminated.

Urcelay said "there are no plans" to close a large number of stores because most of the company's portfolio is "very profitable."

"We will develop from here strategies in our stores," he said. "We cannot be grouped with what other retailers are doing."

Currently, the company owns more than 1,700 stores in 36 countries.

Going forward, e-commerce will be a larger focus for Toys 'R' Us, Urcelay said. The company operates e-commerce websites in 13 countries, and more are soon to come.

"Even our fiercest competitors still have retail stores as well as Internet because you need to have both to have strong sales," Urcelay said.

The company also reported Wednesday that net sales for 2013 hit $12.5 billion, a decrease of $1 billion from the previous year.

"We cannot be proud of our results recently," Urcelay said. "We have seen that the trends are not good; 2013 was certainly disappointing."

After refinancing in the U.S. and U.K., Urcelay stated "we have a couple of years to get this business right" in order not to default on future debts.

Urcelay, who was named CEO last October, was No. 72 on the NJBIZ Power 100 in January.

Meg Fry

Meg Fry

Meg Fry covers manufacturing and retail. Meg joins NJBIZ with past production experience in the arts, film and television. She continues to write and market her own spec scripts and screenplays. You can contact her at megf@njbiz.com or @MegFry3 on Twitter.

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