Tobar Group, owner of toy specialist Hawkin’s Bazaar, has become the latest victim of harsh trading conditions and filed notice of intention to appoint administrators.
Zolfo Cooper has been lined up to become administrator of Tobar, which is said by observers to have expanded too rapidly in a punishing retail climate.
Tobar, which employs about 500 people, was carrying net debt of £42m at the end of June last year and last reported a £3.5m annual pre-tax loss.
However management had been confident in its future. As recently as April, chief executive Lyle Finlay had outlined his vision of growing from 60 to as many as 170 shops.
The business was backed by private equity firm Primary Capital, which funded a management buy-out in 2006.
Tobar’s likely administration would follow that two days ago of jeans retailer D2. There is also concern about the future of lingerie retailer La Senza and gifts specialist Past Times.