Ham­leys makes loss of £12mil­lion

Daily Mail - - DR MAX -

HAM­LEYS has suf­fered one of its worst years since it was founded in 1760.

The toy store, which sur­vived both World Wars, re­ported a loss of £12mil­lion for 2017, hav­ing made prof­its of £2.6mil­lion in 2016.

Ham­leys, which has its flag­ship store on Re­gent Street in cen­tral Lon­don, is be­ing forced to close loss-mak­ing stores across the UK.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Ralph Cun­ning­ham said: ‘Last year was one of the most chal­leng­ing years in UK re­tail his­tory.

‘Ham­leys was not im­mune to the im­pact of Brexit un­cer­tainty, a gen­eral ero­sion in UK con­sumer con­fi­dence and fall­ing cus­tomer foot­fall due to the threat of ter­ror­ism.’

The firm said it still had the back­ing of its Chi­nese owner, C Ban­ner, and would con­tinue to open stores in ‘prof­itable ar­eas’. Ham­leys’ slid­ing prof­its were re­vealed as hair­dress­ing chain Regis, which also owns Su­per­cuts, was forced to go cap in hand to its land­lords to se­cure the busi­ness’s fu­ture.

Regis is seek­ing a com­pany vol­un­tary ar­range­ment, which could see rents at some of its 220 sa­lons slashed. The firm said it did not ex­pect any clo­sures or re­dun­dan­cies among its 1,300-strong work­force.

The Daily Mail is cam­paign­ing to re­form sky-high busi­ness rates, levied by lo­cal coun­cils, to cre­ate a level play­ing field for shops and on­line ri­vals.

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