Suffolk: 140 more jobs axed at Hawkin’s Bazaar

ADMINISTRATORS at toys and games retailer Hawkin’s Bazaar and its Suffolk-based parent company Tobar have closed 14 more stores today and axed a further 140 jobs.

The decision was described as “regrettable” by the administrators, but they say they remain hopeful of selling the business.

It means there are now just 11 Hawkin’s Bazaar stores left, compared to the former network of 65.

The latest store closures affect 123 employees, while another 17 jobs will be lost at the company’s head office in Worlingham, near Beccles.

Commenting on today’s announcement, joint administrator Peter Saville said: “Despite today’s regrettable decision regarding the additional store closures and redundancies, we remain hopeful of achieving a sale of the underlying business.

“We will be looking to work with potential interested parties during the course of next week with a view to identifying the best possible outcome for creditors and other stakeholders.”

The stores closed with immediate effect are in Aberdeen, Barnstaple, Basingstoke, Bluewater, Bristol, Bromley, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Chester, Ealing, Hereford, Leamington Spa, Poole and Southampton.

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Those that remain open are in Braintree, York, Bath, Edinburgh, Northcote Road, Wandsworth, Croydon, Milton Keynes, Birmingham Bullring, Stratford, Yeovil and Norwich.

Last week, the administrators from London-based firm Zolfo Cooper closed 40 branches, including those in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, plus six concessions with other retailers.

Mr Saville said at that time: “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.”