Musical instruments retailer falls into administration

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Dawsons Music, which has a store in Leeds, has gone into administration.

Rick Harrison and Neil Gostelow from KPMG’s Restructuring practice have been appointed joint administrators for the business, which employs about 75 people.

Established in 1898 in Warrington, Dawsons is one of the oldest retailers of musical instruments in the UK.

Operating online and from six stores the company sells a range of musical products, including acoustic, bass and electric guitars; amps and effects; pianos and keyboards; drums and percussion; PA & DJ equipment; orchestra instruments; sheet music books and the latest in music technology.

In addition, the company has an Education division which supplies musical instruments and technology to schools, colleges and universities across the UK and internationally.

As well as its Leeds branch, it has stores in Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, Reading and Belfast.

Over the last 12 months, it has experienced declining sales against the backdrop of a difficult retail environment.

With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic placing further financial strain on the business, the directors decided to appoint joint administrators.

Rick Harrison, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Dawsons is an iconic name in the music industry with its ‘Run by musicians, for musicians’ philosophy.

“While all stores remain closed due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will continue to trade the business via its online platforms while we assess options for the business.

“The majority of staff were furloughed prior to our appointment, and we will be speaking to them as a matter of priority over the days and weeks ahead, as we seek a buyer for the business.

“We are presently in advanced discussions with a number of interested parties with a view to a possible sale but would invite any other party who may have interest in acquiring the business and its assets to contact us at the earliest opportunity.”

Interested parties are advised to contact Natasha Harbinson at KPMG on 020 7670 2607.

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