Past Times collapse threatens 1,000 jobs

 

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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world