KB Toys Inc. will close seven of its 10 Utah stores, part of a national store closure wave resulting from bankruptcy restructuring.

The company said Thursday that the closing Utah stores are at the Cache Valley Mall in Logan, Newgate Mall in Ogden, University Mall in Orem, Provo Towne Centre, Cottonwood Mall in Salt Lake City, South Towne Center in Sandy and Valley Fair Mall in West Valley City.

KB Toys Outlet stores in Draper, Park City and St. George will remain open.

Each store usually has eight to 10 employees.

Massachusetts-based KB Toys said Thursday that it will close 377 stores overall as part of a plan approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware on Wednesday. The action affects 3,500 jobs, or about 39 percent of the company's work force.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Joel Rosenthal approved the company's plans to liquidate up to 490 stores on Wednesday. However, the company said it may close fewer stores than that, depending on whether landlords are willing to re-negotiate leases.

KB had announced earlier this year that a poor holiday shopping season resulted from "harsh competition from big discount retailers."

Liquidation sales at the closing stores started Thursday and today. The sales will continue until all merchandise is gone, likely within a few weeks, the company said.

KB will get 45 percent of the retail price of the merchandise, according to the bankruptcy agreement. The company, which has long specialized in shopping mall toy stores, said it planned to file its severance plans for workers separately.

Prior to the proposed reorganization, the privately held KB Toys had 4 percent to 5 percent of the U.S. toy business with 12,000 employees and 1,231 stores.


Contributing: The Associated Press; Brice Wallace