J A Magson, one of the UK’s largest toy and stationary distributors, has gone into administration.

The company said it has been “struggling to sustain its business in the very challenging retail conditions” and felt it could not continue to operate through the “predicted Christmas slump”.

Around half of J A Magson's 6,000 customers are large retail groups. Thought to be among them are Booker, TM Retail and the Post Office. The rest of its business is with independent stores, like newsagents.

The company, which is based in Clifton Moor and employs around 200 people, supplies toys, stationary, gift-wrap and seasonal products.

Neil Bennett and Michael Healy of Leonard Curtis were appointed administrators to the business today.

A J A Magson spokesperson said: “A larger retail group could find us very attractive but, at this stage, we have yet to secure interest.”

Bennett said: “The current financial climate, with reduced consumer spending on the high street, combined with poor weather over this last summer badly affecting toy sales, has not helped this business. The business has spent heavily, streamlining systems and reducing the staff levels by almost half. Unfortunately the timing has not been good - hence our appointment as a protective measure. We have had to make the majority of the employees redundant; we have retained a small number to assist in the administration. ”