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Retailer Past Times falls on hard times

Despite a £60m turnover, Past Times today appointed administrators as the historical gift retailer admitted its losses were mounting.

Insolvency practitioners Mark Levy and Jeremy Berman of London-based firm Berley Chartered Accountants were appointed joint administrators in the case with insolvency lawyer Ian Grier assisting them.

Joint senior partner Mark Levy explained that, after considerable growth in its retail chains, it had expanded its mail order business too quickly.

The company’s mail order business had not proved as profitable as expected and the company increased its IT staff at a considerable expense according to the insolvency expert.

‘I’m extremely confident that we will sell the business as a going concern,’ said Levy. If they are succesful, the administrators hope they could save about 720 jobs.

He added: ‘We are hoping to sell it within four to six weeks. We have had several offers already. In fact we got an offer on the steps of the court yesterday.’

Oxfordshire-based Past Times, which has 721 employees and 74 shops across the UK, is continuing to trade normally as it awaits buyers.

Levy explained how Berley got the administration: ‘The director of the company sought advice from several people and we were named among them,’ he told


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