East Anglia: 327 jobs axed by Hawkin’s Bazaar administrators

ADMINISTRATORS at toys and games retailer Hawkin’s Bazaar and its Suffolk-based parent company Tobar have axed more than 300 jobs.

The administrators, from London-based firm Zolfo Cooper, have closed 40 branches, including those in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, together with six concessions within other retailers’ stores.

A total of 302 store workers have been made redundant as a result, with a further 35 jobs being cut at Tobar’s head office, at Ellough, near Beccles.

The administrators, Peter Saville, Fraser Gray and Anne O’Keefe, said following their appointment last week that Hawkin’s Bazaar’s 65 permanent stores would continue to trade for the time being, while a number of seasonal stores would close as planned.

But yesterday Mr Saville said: “It is clear from our analysis that a significant portion of the Hawkin’s Bazaar estate is not viable in today’s exceptionally challenging retail environment.

“Our focus now is on the remaining 25 permanent stores as well as the group’s internet, wholesale and direct selling operations. We consider that there remains a saleable core underlying business within the group and we have received a number of expressions of interest which support this view.”

The administrators added that Hawkin’s Bazaar gift vouchers would continue to be accepted at its remaining stores, which include branches in Braintree and Norwich.