Toys and gadgets specialist Hawkin’s Bazaar has been put up for sale and offers are being sought for all or parts of the retailer.

Owner Tobar International has appointed property adviser Christie & Co to solicit interest in Hawkin’s Bazaar, which in 2018 generated sales of £15.8m from its 23 stores and online, which accounted for 12.3% of turnover.

The hoisting of the ‘for sale’ sign comes three years the sale of the business by Primary Capital to Merino Private Equity.

Primary acquired a 50% stake in Tobar Group for £42m in 2006, but Hawkins Bazaar subsequently hit trouble and only just avoided administration in 2011.

The sale follows Tobar’s decision to abandon direct retailing to focus on its wholesale business.

Hawkin’s Bazaar comprises its bricks-and-mortar estate, including branches in locations such as Bluewater, and pop-ups that ”generate significant sales during the busiest time of year”, which have previously traded in centres such as Liverpool One and Manchester’s Trafford Centre, as well as online.

Tobar International chief executive David Mordecai said: “Hawkin’s Bazaar is a very strong retail brand with tremendous heritage both on the high street and online. There is a great opportunity to take the business to the next level through development of the omnichannel approach.”

Christie & Co associate director Nick Bywater, said: “The UK is the largest toy market in Europe, with 37% of toy sales now completed online, so the sale of Hawkin’s Bazaar is an exciting opportunity for new or existing retailers to acquire a flexible store portfolio and to further develop an online presence with highly recognisable branding. 

“Opportunity exists for adding value to the business by repositioning the store portfolio in more dominant retail centres, further expansion of the profitable pop-up store portfolio, and through further development of online sales.”

Christie & Co said “the retail stores are occupied on relatively short leases, offering scope to optimise the store portfolio in the short term” and “the business is available as a whole, although consideration will be given to offers for the constituent parts”.