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21 August 2019 | Retail

Hawkin’s Bazaar brought to market through Christie & Co

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has been instructed by Tobar International Ltd to bring to the market specialist retailer Hawkins Bazaar Ltd.

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The well-known toy and gift retailer, which began life as a mail order sales business in the 1970s, has grown over the years to include an online retail platform and national portfolio of 23 stores, most of which are situated in dominant city centre or strong shopping centre locations, plus several dedicated Christmas pop-ups.

Hawkin’s Bazaar has become established as a high street ‘bricks and clicks’ institution and staple for shoppers during the festive season, providing a unique offering of toys and gadgets for all ages and gifts for special occasions. The business has an experienced team that manages an additional pop-up portfolio of up to 15 stores over the Christmas and New Year trading period. The retail stores are occupied on relatively short leases, offering scope to optimise the store portfolio in the short term. 

The recognisable retail brand has 23 stores in prominent city centre locations and shopping centres, including Bluewater in Kent, The Galleries in Bristol and Touchwood Shopping Centre in Solihull, and stocks a wider range of its products on its web platform, Hawkin.com. Its pop-up stores, which generate significant sales during the retailer’s busiest time of year, have previously appeared in Liverpool ONE, Exeter City Centre, Trafford Centre, Lakeside and Milton Keynes.

Currently operated alongside wholesale businesses within the Tobar International group, the store portfolio, pop-ups and online platform have now been brought to the market as Tobar looks to withdraw from direct retailing to focus on the wholesale sector.

David Mordecai, CEO of Tobar International comments, “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 omni-channel approach.” 

Nick Bywater, Associate Director at Christie & Co, who is handling the sale, comments, “The UK is the largest toy market in Europe, with 37% of toy sales now completed on-line, 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 on-line presence with highly recognisable branding.  

“The business has an established high street brand and a turnover of £15.28m in 2018, with the on-line sales accounting for 12.3% of turnover. 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 on-line sales via Hawkin.com and Stocking-fillers.co.uk. We expect to see strong interest in the brand and the online sales platform.” 

The business is available as a whole, although consideration will be given to offers for the constituent parts.