Retailer Toys R Us has announced plans to close at least 26 UK stores next year, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

It is understood that 500 to 800 jobs could be lost as the company shuts around a third of its UK stores starting in spring 2018.

The announcement comes just months after the US-based retailer filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada as it battled huge debts and increasing competition online.

The firm said the transformation plan is needed to "meet the evolving needs of customers in today's UK retail market".

Steve Knights, managing director of Toys R Us UK, said the warehouse-style stores opened by the retailer in the 1980s and 1990s have proven "too big and expensive to run", adding that "newer, smaller, more interactive stores in the right shopping locations" were trading well.

He also pointed to a "significant growth" in online sales and its click-and-collect offering.

Toys R Us, which trades from 84 stores in the UK and has 21 concessions, employs a total of 3,200 people, but the company assured that there will be "no disruption for customers" throughout the Christmas and New Year shopping period.

The company - which dates back to the 1950s - was being lined up for a stock market flotation, but the plans were scuppered by weak financial performance.

Toys R Us arrived in the UK in 1985 with just five stores, launching its regional website 11 years later in 1996.

Here are the stores near you that face possible closure:

- Old Kent Road

- Bell Green Retail Park - Sydenham 

- Trojan Way - Croydon

- The Glades - Bromley