Norwich Past Times shop enters administration after no buyer could be found

Gift chain Past Times was plunged into administration today after a buyer could not be found.

The company, which has a Norwich shop, will continue to be run as a going concern, and if a sale is still not made the remaining shops will close.

Prior to the appointment of administrators, the company closed 46 stores, including a shop in King's Lynn, resulting in 507 redundancies. It also completed the planned closures of 72 'pop up' temporary stores.

The loss making high street business is a casualty of difficult trading conditions for the retail sector, which has seen discretionary spend fall as consumer confidence declined during the last year.

The remaining business, which includes 51 stores and 500 employees, is continuing to trade under the control of the administrators in the short term.

A statement from administrators KPMG said today: 'There will be an orderly wind down in the event a going concern sale cannot be concluded. Whilst the business continues to trade as a going concern employee numbers are being reduced with 67 redundancies made on appointment, comprising 30 from the Past Times head office in Witney, Oxfordshire and 37 from its warehouse, leaving a central workforce of 31.

'The remaining stores will enter closing down mode on a nationwide basis where consumers will find significantly discounted stock.'

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Howard Smith, Mark Firmin and Joff Pope of KPMG's restructuring practice were appointed joint administrators.