Mastermind Toys to be acquired — but these 18 stores will still be liquidated

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Mastermind Toys will be rescued from the brink of bankruptcy less than two weeks after announcing it had filed for creditor protection.

The prominent Canadian retailer announced Monday morning that it had entered into a deal with Unity Acquisitions Inc. that will see the majority of its 66 locations remain open and “a significant portion of employees” stay on.

Eighteen locations will close, according to a release, which states all stores will remain open during the holiday season and seasonal promotions will continue.

Liquidation sales began Dec. 1.

“The transaction will ensure a thriving future for Mastermind Toys,” the statement read.

Unity is backed by major names in Canadian retail, including Joe Mimran, the founder of Joe Fresh and co-founder of Club Monaco.

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Mimran said in a statement Monday that buying Mastermind Toys aligns with Unity’s strategy to “enhance and grow extraordinary Canadian brands.”

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On Nov. 24, Mastermind filed for creditor protection in Ontario Superior Court, citing challenges such as a worsening economic outlook and disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic that were “too significant to overcome.”

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Mastermind secured approval from the court on Nov. 30 to start liquidation sales at 18 of its locations. These stores are not included in the transaction, with liquidation continuing through December.

The following stores are still set to close, according to the Mastermind Toys website:

  • 1250 2A Ave. North, Lethbridge, Alta.
  • 1840 Strachan Rd. SE, Medicine Hat, Alta.
  • 5250 22nd St., Red Deer, Alta.
  • 5236 Windermere Blvd NW, Edmonton, Alta.
  • 3034 Recplace Dr., Prince George, B.C.
  • 1561 Regent Ave. W, Winnipeg, Man.
  • 38 Trinity Ave., Fredericton, N.B.
  • 70 Consumers Dr., Saint John, N.B.
  • 20 Sydney Port Access Rd., Sydney, N.S.
  • 170 Kingston Rd. E, Ajax, ON
  • 488 Bayfield St., Barrie, ON
  • 612 Hespeler Rd., Cambridge, ON
  • 2180 Rymal Rd., Hamilton, ON
  • 2511 Princess St., Kingston, ON
  • 26 Eglinton Ave. W, Mississauga, ON
  • 1969 16th St. E, Owen Sound, ON
  • 1332 Kingsway., Sudbury, ON
  • 16 Famous Ave.., Vaughan, ON

The remaining 48 stores will see an extended holiday returns policy adopted, according to a release.

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No price tag was disclosed for the acquisition, which is expected to close in January 2024, subject to regulatory approvals.

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