Four years after permanently closing down, the beloved toy store Toys R Us is set to make a UK comeback.
Toys R Us went bust back in 2018 after struggling to keep up with the new age of online shopping and, as a result, was forced to close all of its UK and US stores, much to the dismay of those who grew up with the retailer throughout the 2000s.
But in very unexpected news yesterday, the parent firm of both Toys R Us and Babies R Us announced that it had signed a long-term exclusive licence agreement to relaunch the stores across the UK from 2022 onwards.
Because as it turns out, the Toys R Us stores in Canada and Australia have been going from strength-to-strength these last few years, with bosses seeing them as proof that there is still hope for stores – both physical and online – here in the UK.
Chairman and CEO of parent company WHP Global and Toys R Us, Yehuda Shmidman, said in a statement: “We selected Toys R Us ANZ as our partner to expand into the United Kingdom because of their proven success in launching with us in Australia under the leadership of their CEO, Dr Louis Mittoni.
“Toys R Us today is a vibrant business with over 900 stores and e-commerce sites across 25 plus countries generating over $2billion a year in sales and growing, especially with the new launches underway for both the US and UK markets.”
Head of Toys R Us ANZ, Louis Mittoni, added: “Since Toys R Us’ return to Australia in June 2019, we have scaled quickly as customers returned to the much-loved brand and our e-commerce model has proven its success.
“My team and I are looking forward to developing technical and commercial relationships with UK-based vendors and partners and to engage with the many loyal Toys R Us former customers and fans in the UK.”
Over 100 Toys R Us stores closed across the UK 2018, with close to a quarter shut due to a company voluntary arrangement that was agreed. The rest were impacted after the business entered administration after an unsuccessful attempt to sell the toy retailer giant as a going concern.
Boy, 15, arrested after teenage boy stabbed to death outside school
He’s the second person to be arrested
A teenage boy has been arrested following the murder of a 15-year-old on Wednesday.
The suspect, also 15, was picked up by police after student Khayri McLean was stabbed to death in Huddersfield.
He has now been arrested in connection with the murder.
He’s the second person to be arrested as police investigate Khayri’s death outside his school.
West Yorkshire Police said: “Police investigating the murder of 15-year-old Khayri McLean in Huddersfield have arrested a second youth in connection with the incident.
“The 15-year-old male was arrested yesterday and is currently in custody. A 16-year-old male who was arrested yesterday also remains in custody.
“Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team (HMET) are continuing to conduct enquiries into the death of Khayri, who died after being stabbed on Woodhouse Hill, Huddersfield, on Wednesday.”
Kwasi Kwarteng scraps cap on bankers’ bonuses in first mini-budget as Chancellor
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Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng gave his first mini-budget in the House of Commons this morning.
He began by discussing the government’s plan to support people with the cost of energy, including freezing domestic bills at £2,500 and giving out the £400 rebate.
There’s also unit price limits for companies.
Kwarteng said he believes the UK needs a ‘new approach for a new era’ to achieve growth of 2.5%, saying the three important parts of his mini-budget are reforming the economy’s supply side, tax cuts and a responsible approach when it comes to public finances.
As part of this, the Chancellor announced a new bill to overhaul planning restrictions, saying this will ‘unpick the complex patchwork of planning restrictions and EU-derived laws’.
He revealed that benefit claimants will see their benefits reduced if they do not fulfil their job searching commitments.
Kwarteng also confirmed that the cap on bankers’ bonuses will be scrapped, following reports that he would make this one of his first moves.
As well as that, the planned corporation tax increase has been cancelled, and will remain at 19%, with the Chancellor also setting out a series of tax cuts for businesses.
This includes tax cuts for businesses in designated tax sites for 10 years, accelerated tax reliefs for buildings, and no business rates to pay for newly occupied business residences.
Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28
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Drag star George Ward, known as Cherry Valentine, has sadly passed away aged 28, it’s been confirmed this morning.
Ward’s family announced the news, describing his death as a ‘profound shock’.
He appeared on series two of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, before going on to front the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.
According to his family, Ward – who was raised in Darlington, County Durham as part of the Traveller community – died on Sunday.
He qualified as a mental health nurse back in 2015 before he began his career in drag.
Ward’s family said in a statement: “It is with the most heart-wrenching and deepest sadness to inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away.
“This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way for this to be announced.
“As his family, we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same.
“We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is for your patience and your prayers in this time. We love you Georgie.”