Shoes chain Barratts sheds 1,600 workers

The wave of redundancies sweeping Britain's stricken high streets gathered pace yesterday as 1,600 staff were laid off at the shoe shop chain Barratts and the toy retailer Hawkin's Bazaar collapsed, with the potential loss of 380 jobs.

Administrators were called into Barratts Priceless before Christmas amid a sales slump that has hit many big chains. Attempts to find a buyer for its concessions, mainly in Dorothy Perkins and Outfit stores, have failed, and they will be closed. The administrator, Deloitte, is still trying to find buyers for the 149 standalone shops still trading.

Fears for 380 workers at Hawkin's Bazaar and the mail order group Letterbox rose as the administrator Zolfo Cooper was called into their parent company, Tobar. Hawkin's has 65 permanent stores and 55 temporary Christmas shops. The "pop-up" stores, which employ a further 400 casual workers, will be closed in coming days as planned. Zolfo Cooper said: "The directors worked very hard to turn the business around but concluded that administration is the best route forward."

Hawkin's Bazaar was set up in 1973 but suffered what Zolfo described as "exceptionally challenging trading conditions". It takes its place in the growing line of recent retail failures including D2 jeans, which called in administrators this week. The lingerie firm La Senza and gift shop chain Past Times are expected to follow.

Administration does not necessarily result in a chain disappearing. The process is often used as a quick, cheap way to close stores, lay off staff and cut debts to allow a business to continue trading from a smaller base.

Blacks Leisure, owner of Milletts outdoor goods, is among the biggest recent casualties, but could be saved in the new year after four bidders expressed an interest in buying parts of the business.

While shareholders will be wiped out in any sale, many of the 3,500 employees could keep their jobs.

The discount fashion chain Peacocks is trying to renegotiate a £240m debt lent by banks including Lloyds.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Guru Careers: Stockbroker

£Basic (OTE) + Uncapped Commission: Guru Careers: A Stockbroker (qualified / p...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence