Hawkin's Bazaar collapses into administration

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Hawkin's Bazaar, Stall Street, BathImage source, Google
Image caption,
The chain was put up for sale in August by its private equity firm owner Merino

Gift and toy chain Hawkin's Bazaar is seeking a rescue deal after it collapsed into administration, putting nearly 180 jobs at risk.

It has suspended its website, but will continue to trade from its 19 shops until further notice.

The Norwich-based company suffered a "challenging Christmas period".

Joint administrator Tom Straw said: Hawkin's Bazaar was a retail brand "with a strong heritage both on the High Street and online".

Mr Straw, of Moorfields Advisory, added: "Unfortunately, despite making changes to their offering to appeal to the shift in modern buying patterns, the retailer still struggled to compete with online retailers such as Amazon."

Profit slump

Hawkin's Bazaar said much of its stock would be sold with "clearance discounts and other special promotions", while gift cards would be accepted for a limited time.

It is the second time the chain has fallen into administration, having closed the majority of its shop network in 2011.

In 2016, the company was bought by private equity firm Merino, which put the business up for sale in August after slumping to a £978,344 loss on sales of £15.3m in 2018.

Hawkin's Bazaar has shops in Basildon, Bath, Belfast, Bluewater in Dartford, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Exeter, Harlow, Hereford, Norwich, Poole, Preston, Solihull, Stevenage, Taunton, Truro, Worcester and York.

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