The owner of Hawkins Bazaar, Primary Capital – which bought back the business out of administration last week – plans to revive the toy retailer by focusing on concessions and online as it appoints a new chief executive.
Primary Capital owned the toy and novelty gift retailer’s parent company and wholesale business Tobar Group before it fell into administration on December 30. It then bought the brand, eight stores, the online business, the wholesale business, all stock and its direct mail operation from administrators Zolfo Cooper last week.
Primary is seeking to reopen two of the 57 closed stores – in Bluewater and Basingstoke – bringing its store count to 10. It is not currently planning any other store openings.
Simon Palmer, formerly chief operating officer of Tobar Group, has replaced Lyle Finlay as chief executive. Palmer said he wants to open concessions for both Hawkins Bazaar and direct mail business Letterbox in a “leading high street retailer”.
The plans follow a 14-week trial of six concessions in House of Fraser department stores last Christmas. “It is a new concept and the trials traded as we expected,” Palmer said.