Another retailer, Hawkin's Bazaar, and its parent company Tobar Group, have filed intention to appoint administrators last night with Zolfo Cooper likely to be appointed. The firm has 60 shops and specialises in selling small pocket money like toys. The company employs 400 full time staff and hundreds more part time staff. This is yet more bad news for the High Street in a week that has already seen D2 Jeans and La Senza in trouble.
Hawkin's Bazaar used to be a mail order and wholesaler until Primary Capital bought a 50% share in the business for £42 million and moved it onto the High Street. This was done in the heady days of 2006 and leveraged buyouts. In the current climate it looks as if this business model is unsustainable.
Many of the other retailers that have gone into administration recently have had a history of difficulties but analysts have been worried that this is the first previously healthy company to have collapsed. However, moving from the internet and wholesale to the High Street seems, now with the benefit of hindsight, a big mistake...Although, to be fair, toys were one of the early types of goods sold online and competition was very fierce.