Specialist kids clothing retailer for children, Adams Childrenswear Ltd, which sells baby clothes, school uniforms and clothes for children from two to 10 years has announced closure of 111 of its 271stores all over the UK, after passing into administration last week.
The childrenswear retailer is the latest high street chain to falter as the global credit crisis and recession leads to consumers cutting down on spending.
The high profile Strand Street store was one of 111 outlets to shut shop, while the remaining 160 stores will remain open as administrators try to find a suitable buyer for the company. The closure of two-fifths of the group's stores has eliminated 850 jobs.
Adams said, ''The current downturn being experienced on the high street" was the main reason for the company's plight.
It appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers on 31 December 2008, to look into the affairs of the company. The accounting firm said it was optimistic that it may be in a position to sell some parts of the business.
Rob Hunt from the administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers said that, "Since we have come into the picture five days ago, we are happy to say that there have been a number of expressions of interest in the Adams business and brand."
The UK's Department of Trade and Industry said that it was observing the progress made in the case of Adams Kids and would extend help to some staff at the chain's Douglas branch if the company closed.
This is not the first time the group has gone into trouble times.
Adams was established in Birmingham in 1933 by Amy Adams who began selling children's clothing from her terraced home in Birmingham and celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. Adams Kids built up a chain of more than 500 outlets in the UK and 103 international outlets in the Middle East and Europe, employing about 3,200 people. It also makes clothes for high street retailer Boots.
The company operated as an independent retailer for 40 years headed by Amy's son Michael. In 1973 it was bought by Foster Brothers, which 10 years later was acquired by the Sears Group.
In 1997 the company went international with the opening in Saudi Arabia. In 2002 the company made a deal with Boots and the launch of 'Mini Mode' which now has 327 concessions and its own online store.
An Adams online gift store was launched followed by online schoolwear store in 2005 -06 selling products from boyswear, girlswear, toddlerwear, babywear, footwear, occasionwear, schoolwear and finally accessories.
The company hit trouble times in February 2007 and its business was bought by Northern Ireland businessman John Shannon leading to closure of about 40 stores.
Mr Shannon, a former chairman of footwear firm Stead & Simpson and clothing chain Country Casuals was instrumental in launching Adams new brand "kids love fashion" with the primary focus on affordable kids fashion. The company started doing well and in 2008 saw a 25 per cent increase in sales for both boys and girls fashion ranges.
The global credit crisis, recession, decline in demand, economic slow down and stiff competition from other supermarket chains caused the sales to slump hampering the profitability of the company.
Adam's failure becomes a part of the ongoing number of companies that have entered administration such as music and entertainment chain Zavvi, MFI , Woolworths, crystal and china and ceramics firm Waterford Wedgwood.