Playtime heads into administration

Leading independent chain Playtime Multimedia has entered administration, the retailer has told MCV.

Insolvency specialists P&A Partnerships has been appointed by the retailer, and the Northern-based independent has cited a collapse in like-for-like sales as the reason behind its decision.

We had to call in the administrators last week because we just could not continue in our current format in the current retail market,” admitted Playtime Multimedia boss Gareth Rowbotham.

The whole retail market for us has just gone dead. We had ten stores last summer and going strong, but over the autumn and over Christmas our like-for-like sales were well down, and we’ve had to consolidate because of that. We are now working closely with the administrators, and the situation is continuing to develop all the time.”

We didn’t actively look to sell any of the stores, because who would look to buy a retailer in today’s market?”

P&A partner John Russell added: The company Playtime Multimedia has taken steps to proceed into liquidation. Some of the stores have closed and there has been some consolidation. Full details of the situation should be made available shortly.”
Despite the situation, Rowbotham is optimistic that he can continue selling games through his Doncaster store and website.

Myself and my brother own the Playtime flagship store in Doncaster, so hopefully we can continue something through that, albeit in a smaller vein,” he said.

We also run through the Doncaster store. Online has been the one shining light for us over the past few months in terms of sales, so once we’ve come through the other side we will look at where we are and the possibilities of running that operation still.

Any announcements on out future retail plans will be made in the next few weeks,” he concluded.

Starting life in Doncaster during 2000, Playtime Multimedia was one of the more successful independent retailers with ten stores across the North of England. The business has grown steadily year-on-year since then, with its prime High Street locations cited as a big reason for its success.

The company was also nominated for an MCV Award in 2007 and 2008, and has been a mainstay in MCV’s annual Top 20 independents feature since its inception.

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