Uncertain time for city centre stores
A CITY store is facing an uncertain future after being placed in administration just days after another shop in Peterborough closed down.
Toy and novelty gift chain Hawkin’s Bazaar, which has a store in Bridge Street, was placed in the hands of administrators Zolfo Cooper yesterday.
A Zolfo Cooper spokesman said it was too early to comment on the long-term future of the Peterborough store but it will remain open.
Shoe shop Barratts, which was based in Queensgate Shopping Centre, closed its doors just before Christmas after the company was placed into administration.
Hawkin’s Bazaar is owned by Suffolkbased Tolbar Group, which operates as a retailer and wholesaler of toys and gifts and has 65 stores across the country.
The group employs around 380 permanent staff nationally and has a reported turnover of about £60 million.
The administrators said they would work to try and protect jobs and search for a buyer for the company.
Joint administrator Peter Saville said: “In common with many retailers the Tolbar Group has experienced exceptionally challenging trading conditions of late.
“At this stage we intend to continue to trade the component parts of the group while we seek a buyer for all or parts of its operations.
“We will be working closely with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that we identify the best possible outcomes regarding preservation of jobs, the value of the business and returns to creditors.
“As this work continues we will seek to make further announcements as appropriate.”
Hawkin’s Bazaar customers owning gift vouchers may still exchange these for goods.
Barratts entered administration before Christmas and yesterday the firm announced it was making 1,610 redundancies across the UK.
The job losses are at the retailer’s outlets within other stores across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
sell- ing the concession part of the business would “not be achieved”.
However they are still trying to find a buyer for the remaining 173 Barratts high street stores which remain open after announcing 18 store closures.
Deloitte said it is working with the concession holders, which include department stores, to see if the former-employees could be re-employed in other parts of their businesses.
The Bradford-based firm had 191 stores, under the Barratts and Priceless Shoes brands, in the UK.
The firm is one of several high street names that have been hit hard by weak demand over the past couple of years.
Home furnishings store Habitat went into administration in June while Jane Norman and Focus DIY did the same in May.
Hawkin’s Bazaar, in Bridge Street, and Barratts in Queensgate.