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Children’s clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch goes into administration

Sixty members of staff have already been made redundant and five of the company’s 36 stores have closed

The children’s clothing chain Pumpkin Patch has become the latest high-street retailer to fall into administration, putting 400 jobs at risk.

Sixty members of staff have already been made redundant, and five of Pumpkin Patch’s 36 UK stores have been closed, but the administrator Deloitte said it intended to continue trading until “strategic options” had been explored.

Despite the closure of stores in Cambridge, Cheshire Oaks, Leeds, Swindon and Uxbridge, the administrators said Pumpkin Patch’s overseas and online operations would not be affected.

The Reading-based UK arm of the New Zealand firm joins a growing list of retailers to have hit trouble since Christmas. La Senza, Peacocks and Past Times have all gone into administration since the start of the year.

The Deloitte administrator Daniel Butters said Pumpkin Patch had suffered from the unprecedented and prolonged downturn in UK retail.

“We will continue to trade the business while we explore all strategic options,” he said. “We encourage all parties to remain supportive while we continue to trade the business, thus providing the best possible platform for us to preserve jobs and value for all creditors.”

Pumpkin Patch’s first UK shop opened in Bromley, south-east London, in 2000, and since then the business has expanded to places including Bristol, Nottingham, Belfast and Cardiff.

The business was first set up in 1990 in Auckland, New Zealand, and has 200 stores employing 3,000 people in four different countries. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds