Deathwatch: Hawkin's Bazaar go into administration

retail deathwatch You’d think that Christmas would be the strongest time of year for Hawkin’s Bazaar, the purveyors of toys and novelty gifts but it hasn’t been enough to stop it from plunging into administration earlier today.

Owned by the Tolbar Group, there are 65 Bazaars across the country, and 380 staff will now be fearful of their jobs. Peter Saville, of administrators Zolfo Cooper said: “In common with many retailers the group has experienced exceptionally challenging trading conditions of late” although he added that they are trying to protect jobs.


They follow on from the likes of Past Times, La Senza, Blacks and D2 Jeans, who have all fallen foul over the past couple of weeks, although Hawkin's Bazaar customers owning gift vouchers can still exchange these for goods. If you’re one of those customers, we’d be doing it sooner rather than later…


  • Kevin
    Is a surprise, also surprised they have 65 stores now, expanded quickly I guess. Going to be a loss if they do go under
  • How B.
    Whatever happened to the Innovations catalogue anyway?
  • Very B.
    Was in one the week before Christmas, normally go every year for the kids stockings. Crap compared to previous years, reduced range, no atmosphere, stupid over the top music and staffed by kids. Would normally spend a fair bit, struggled to reach a fiver.
  • Angry S.
    Would I be right in thinking this is the shop that sold piles of overpriced crap that nobody could actually 'need' in a gazillion years. And now its gone bust? My my, that's surprising......
  • Sicknite
    Went into a Hawkin’s Bazaar once and I did think that is was just selling complete shite that usually comes in crates from China. Not surprised that business model crapped out.
  • Bazaar I.
    They only employ fat girls. Why is that?
  • maxtweenie
    Lakeland and Robert Dyas are next.
  • Dick
    Another shit store off the high street. It will be replace by another crap shop selling crap stuff, employing crap staff.
  • ex y.
    hawkins may not be a 'necessary' retailer but it was my store and place of work! MY shop had atmoshpere, a varied age range of staff and saying the company only employs 'larger people' is pathetic! Think before you write things on here people! the current financial crisis IS the reason MANY retailers are suffering not pathetic digs and resonings like i have read so far! Lets hope none of you are ever on the redundancy list hey?! as you might be a little more sympathetic next time.
  • ex e.
    When it started it was fresh and original like Apple is now, then over previous years more and more companies came on board (Its a free world, so you can't blame them). A large majority of toys and gifts are imported, not just Hawkin's due to higher margins - however the the £ dropped against the $ in the start of the credit crunch. This made toys more expensive to buy, hence prices went up massively (15%-20%), however wages are flat. unemployment is up and toys & gifts are a luxury not an essential item, compared to food etc. So you now have a sector of expensive, over competitive and non-essential items competing in an already retail stressed market. I knew everyone from the MD, Area Managers, Store managers and staff and I know the effort which was put behind this and there was nothing else they could have done, they are incredible people. Every shop you walk into there’s always that one person you think "Lazy sod", but that shouldn't be judged onto the other 99% trying their best!
  • Mintyhug
    I was one of the casualties of the management trying to save the Company in early 2011. I worked for Hawkins Bazaar at Head Office, it's a bit of a marmite thing you either love the brand and what it sells or you hate it. I'm extremely sad to see the company fail, I believe that the damage was done before the current management were in place and they never stood a chance. My heart goes out to everyone who will suffer - good luck to you all.
  • @MintyHug
  • Star H.
    Lol, I thought I was the only one that noticed all the shop girls are fat arses!
  • George D.
  • Another D.
    > Every shop you walk into there’s always that one person you think “Lazy sod”, but that shouldn’t be judged onto the other 99% trying their best! Well there is the problem. If every store hs one lazy git, but this is only 1% f the workforce, then they are clearly overstaffed. 100 workers per store, crazy.
  • Jamie
    Absolute nonsense that Hawkins Bazaar only employs fat women. What a ridiculous statement. In Carlisle, there's a fat bloke too.
  • meyousee
    The company went wrong when they expanded too quickly into retail and neglected the internet and call centers. It also lost its branding and product line becoming a crap firebox. With crap products and high over heads it removed old staff replacing then with managers who had no idea what the company was so why it went wrong. It then continued down the wrong line till the venture capitalists shut it down to strip out the crap. This is a tactical administration not a no profit one. Its a shame as it hurts the staff and especially the local area. Having worked with the company for 8 years its sad to see it go.
  • jeannen
    I am very sorry to see this business go down. I bought lots of stuff online this year from them as was cutting down and buying friends/family funny/silly cheap gifts that would at least give a laugh. All the items I gave as presents were gladly received and gave laughter to each recipient. A shame for all the stafff and customers alike.

What do you think?

Your comment