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Times are tough for every toy seller, but this holiday season could prove particularly hard on Toys ‘R’ Us. The $14 billion chain, which was taken private three years ago, is heading into Christmas with $6 billion of debt

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KB Toys Inc, one of the largest U.S. toy retailers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, with a plan to close all its stores and begin liquidation sales in the middle of the holiday season.

KB Toys is the latest retailer to succumb to a sharp decline in consumer spending this year. KB Toys, which runs about 460 stores, said it will try to find a buyer for its wholesale distribution unit as it conducts going-out-of-business sales.

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Signs that the recession will be long and severe mounted Friday with a fresh round of bad economic news, including plunging sales from manufacturers to stores and falling prices that raise fears of dangerous deflation.

The new batch of data showed retail sales fell by 1.8 percent in October, marking a record fifth straight monthly decline. The weakness was led by another sharp drop in auto sales — the worst sales month for automakers in 26 years.