Toys R Us said it plans to close about 180 locations around the country. CEO Dave Brandon wrote in a customer letter that the store closings are designed to strengthen the company as it seeks to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

A list of the closing stores, posted by USA Today, didn't include the sole Alaska Toys R Us in Anchorage.

In a court document, Toys R Us said it will close up to 182 underperforming locations spread across the U.S., representing about one-fifth of its stores. It added that the final decision on shuttering stores will depend on whether the company is able to negotiate more favorable lease terms or rents for some locations. The store closings will begin in February and wind down in April, Brandon said. 

The closures follow a holiday season when bricks-and-mortar retailers struggled to compete with the growing popularity of online retailers like Toys R Us had the added challenge of filing for bankruptcy protection in September, just as stores were stocking up for the holidays. 

"The actions we are taking are necessary to give us the best chance to emerge from our bankruptcy proceedings as a more viable and competitive company," Brandon wrote. 

Toys R US said it's requesting bonuses for employees who remain with the stores through their closures. 

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