Tobar Group, owner of toy specialist Hawkin’s Bazaar, has announced its intention to call in administrators for the troubled toy maker, potentially putting more than 400 jobs at risk.
The news comes a day after clothing chain D2 went bust and follows on the heels of similar announcments made for lingerie company La Senza and the camping clothing firm, Blacks Leisure.
The toy maker was carrying net debt of £42m at the end of June last year, and reported a £3.5m annual pre-tax loss. Tobar appointed the restructuring specialists Zolfo Cooper as administrators.
Zolfo partner Peter Saville said: “In common with many retailers, the group has experienced exceptionally challenging trading conditions.
“We will be working to ensure the best possible outcomes regarding preservation of jobs, value of the business and returns to creditors.”
Hawkin’s operates 120 shops across the UK and has been in business since 1973. Private equity owner Primary Capital paid £42m in 2006 to take a 50 per cent share. The company used the investment to open shops nationwide, transforming the business from a wholesaler into a retailer.
Only in April this year, chief executive Lyle Finlay had outlined his vision of opening more shops in the coming years. However, following an austere retail climate the company collapsed.
The New Year might see more retail brands going bust. Retail property experts CB Richard Ellis have warned that as many as 30,000 shop staff could lose their job in a dire 2012.