Childrenswear chain Adams has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as administrators, putting 3,200 jobs at risk.
The Warwickshire-based company is the largest independent childrenswear retailer in the UK, with 271 stores branded Adams Kids and annual turnover of £150m, and makes clothing for Boots. It also supplies a number of overseas franchises. Rob Hunt, Stuart Maddison and Mike Jervis of PWC were today appointed as joint administrators to Adams.
The group employs 3,200 people, 350 of whom are based at its head office in Nuneaton. Like many retailers, its sales have suffered over the past 12 months, in particular towards the end of the year.
Hunt said: "We are continuing to trade as we urgently review the company's financial position so as to assess which stores can remain open. Adams Kids is a well-known brand on the high street and we remain hopeful that it will prove attractive to a purchaser. However, the current difficulties in the retail environment are such that some store closures are likely."
Adams had been trying to bounce back after being rescued from a spell in administration less than two years ago, but worsening trading made it harder for the firm to service some £30m of debt. Intense competition from the supermarkets and other high street retailers put more pressure on its attempts to find a niche for itself.
Administrators have not been appointed to an associated company, Mini Mode Childrenswear, which has a joint venture agreement with Boots to supply swimwear and childrenswear.