Online toy store eToys will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection within the next ten days, becoming the latest in a long line of dotcoms this year to implode through non-existent profits and lack of consumer interest.

The etailer, whose shares collapsed from $90 in October 1999 to $0.09 last night, will close its website on March 8 and lay off its staff before the end of the month, by which time its remaining cash will be completely exhausted.

Buyers will be sought for the content on its advice websites BabyCenter and ParentCenter, while the company’s proprietary software and distribution houses will also be put up for sale.

Once worth $20 billion, eToys failed to overcome mounting debts – thought to be $274 million at the end of January – following a disastrous Christmas period in which it sold only half the goods it had predicted.

News source: The Times (London)