Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Jobs threat as Adams fights to survive — again

Around 100 jobs in towns across Northern Ireland are under threat as it emerged that children’s retailer Adams is in administration for the third time in three years.

A buyer is being sought for the chain, which has four stores in the province and 125 UK-wide. In two previous administrations it was rescued by businessman John Shannon, who bought the chain in 2007 and again in February last year with newly-formed company JS Childrenswear.

In September last year the firm, and affiliate Mini Mode, were sold to Pakistani group Habib Alvi Investments.

A notice by joint administrator Paul Clark, of MCR, on the insolvency firm’s website said: “We are already seeing significant interest in the business and assets of the company with a number of interested parties having already come forward.

“We are still undergoing a process of determining the viability of the business and while it is too early to make any further announcement on who those interested parties may be, I can confirm that the company is still trading with a view to securing a going concern sale.”

Staff at Adams’ four stores in Enniskillen, Antrim, Ballymena and Newry said they were unable to comment on the latest crisis. Last year five Adams stores in Northern Ireland were closed.

Mr Clark told the Guardian that suppliers had been going unpaid for some time. He said: “Like many retailers, Adams has experienced a difficult trading environment during the past 12 months which has been exacerbated by a further downturn and general tightening of the credit market.”

He added: “We fully appreciate the difficult position in which the staff find themselves so soon after Christmas.”

Adams operates five shops and concessions in the Republic, where staff declined to comment.

A spokesman for MCR said this week would be crucial in determining the survival of the beleagured company and that no announcement on job losses should be expected.