It's really sad news for geeks, robot fans, and of course for employees, but yesterday Tsukumo declared bankruptcy. Within Japan the firm is well known as a leader in sales of consumer electronics, especially personal computers and peripherals, in addition to having established the Tsukumo Robot Kingdom shops long before any other retailer jumped on the band wagon.
Official reports indicate that the company has total liabilities of roughly 11 billion yen owed to 950 creditors, and annual turnover of 31,991 million yen. The dire situation facing the company was aggravated even more by the current strong yen and Tsukumo's dependence on importing foreign computer equipment for resale.
Of course, declaring bankruptcy doesn't necessarily imply that the company will close down operations. However, if the company does survive, which we certainly hope it will, there will have to be major restructuring. It's too early to tell if they will spin off the robot related operations, which we believe could be profitable on it's own, and what impact all of this will have on organizations like ROBO-ONE where Tsukumo was one of the founding sponsors and strong supporters.