Past Times collapse threatens 1,000 jobs
Friday 30 December 2011
Up to 1,000 jobs are at risk as the retailer of retro-themed gifts, Past Times, is set to be put into administration in the New Year as the latest chain to fall victim to the economic crisis.
The board of Past Times, which is owned by Epic Private Equity, confirmed yesterday that it intends to appoint administrators – which, it is believed, will be KPMG – to the retailer which has 100 shops across the country. Legally, there must be a 10-day gap between an intention to enter administration being lodged with the High Court and its starting. This means the process is likely to start during the second week of January. Past Times is said to have performed below expectations in the pre-Christmas period – crucial for the gift market – despite heavy discounting and its marketing of Downton Abbey-themed memorabilia. Past Times made a loss of £1.53m in 2010, on turnover of £46.5m. Ironically, it was brought out of administration by Epic for £7.75m in 2005.
Administration in the New Year might not mean the end for the Past Times brand, however. Neville Kahn, head of global reorganisation services at Deloittes, said: "Some high-street retailers may look at administration in the first quarter as a way to reorganise their business; shut unprofitable stores while keeping some core locations open. This is what we could be seeing with retailers such as D2 Jeans and maybe Past Times as well."
Epic added that its other major retail investment – Whittard of Chelsea – was performing well. The tea specialist was bought by Epic in 2008 and has enjoyed 3 per cent like-for-like sales growth as well as a 37 per cent surge in online sales.
Elsewhere, Hammerson, the owner of 10 large shopping centres in the UK – including Brent Cross in North London and the Bullring in Birmingham – has reported a bumper start to the sales. "Despite pressure on household budgets, we have seen some exceptional trading. Centres across the country have been reporting record-breaking numbers of visitors looking to take advantage of Boxing Day sales," David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson. Brent Cross had a record footfall this Boxing Day with 65,000 visitors, up 27 per cent on the year before. At WestQuay in Southampton, more than 55,000 people flocked to the centre on Boxing Day, an increase of 43 per cent compared with 2010.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Ebola outbreak: Nowhere is safe until virus is contained in Africa, claims the top doctor who beat it in Nigera
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...
£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...