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eToys to shut doors in Europe

UK site dies on January 19

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eToys has warned it is to shut its doors in Europe, just 14 months after it started the business.

The US online toy merchant said today it will ditch the UK business in two weeks, and the European operations early in 2001.

"Can we fix it? No we can't. Sadly eToys packs up its toy chest on January 19," the UK site states.

The company said the UK site had performed well, but blamed the "disappointing recent performance of the company as a whole and the negative capital market conditions" for the shutdown. The decision will affect 74 staff in Europe.

The eToys.co.uk site has knocked 50 per cent off all prices in an effort to shift stock before closing.

The move follows the company scrapping its UK affiliate program - when it gave just days' notice to participants.

Last month the Los-Angeles dotcom also warned that orders for the quarter would be less than expected, and was forced to halve Q3 sales forecasts. It cut net sales forecasts to between $120 million and $130 million from the $210 million to $240 million it previously expected, warning of losses of up to $85 million. At the time it said it had enough money to survive until March 31. ®

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