Toys “R” Us Inc. says it is making preparations for a liquidation of its bankrupt US operations after so far failing to find a buyer or reach a debt restructuring deal with lenders.

Weighted down by $5 billion in debt, the company that once dominated toy sales in the U.S. filed for bankruptcy protection in September.

A shutdown of the US division has become closer and closer in recent days, said company employees, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Hopes are dwindling a buyer will emerge to keep some of the business operating, or that lender will agree on terms of a debt restructuring, the employees say.

The Wall Street Journal says an officials announcement could come as soon as Monday when the parties are expected to appear at a bankruptcy hearing in Richmond, Va. How and when Toys “R” will begin liquidation will depend on the size of the liquidator bids it receives.