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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 March, 2005, 14:14 GMT
Gadget Shop into administration
Interior of Gadget Shop in Covent Garden, London
The Gadget Shop sells technology-based gifts
High Street retailer The Gadget Shop, which employs 700 staff, is to go into administration this week.

It comes after a boardroom split on whether to sell the chain of 65 stores.

"It is extremely regrettable that The Gadget Shop has to be placed into administration by Tuesday," said a spokesman for the firm.

They said executive chairman Chris Gorman's number one concern is "for the staff and he will be working hard with the administrator to find a buyer".

Five shareholders

He said the aim was "The Gadget Shop continuing, and saving the jobs of staff".

The chain is not being placed in administration because it is in financial difficulties but because some directors want to sell the business while others are opposed to the move, and placing it in administration now may force a sale.

The shops, which are based in most major UK cities, sell everything from computer games to videophones and other electronic gadgetry and gifts.

Gadget Shop executive chairman Chris Gorman
Executive chairman Chris Gorman will work with the administrators

The Gadget Shop has debts of only a few million pounds. It is understood accountants PKF will be appointed as administrators.

Potential buyers include rival chains or private equity groups, although analysts think these investors may be losing interest in the retail sector as consumer spending slows down.

According to The Sunday Times, Mr Gorman has the support of Scottish entrepreneur Tom Hunter who is worth an estimated 500m.

The duo have a combined shareholding of 50% of the Gadget Shop. Their vision for the company is thought to be opposed by Freeserve founder Peter Wilkinson and trader John Wood - who own 40% of the group.

The remaining 10% of shares is held by Jonathan Elvidge, the chief executive and founder of the Gadget Shop in 1991, who is understood to support Mr Gorman.


SEE ALSO:
Gadget market 'to grow in 2005'
10 Jan 05 |  Technology


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