, the troubled online retailer, is closing its European operations, and the company's already battered stock continued its long, painful decline.

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The company's U.K. operations are scheduled to close on Jan. 19, and eToys Europe will board up its doors early this year. The closings come in the wake of a disappointing fourth quarter and

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holiday season and previous announcements that the company will explore strategic alternatives including a merger and asset sales.

eToys said current market conditions left it no choice but the shut the operations. The U.K. site will discount all items by at least 50% during a closing sale.

Shares of eToys fell 3 cents, or 16.7%, to 19 cents in recent