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Hawkin’s Bazaar: what’s behind its collapse?

Caroline Hawkings Managing Director 20/02/2020

As the doors close on yet another high street casualty, what does the data say about what’s behind the demise of gift and toy shop Hawkin’s Bazaar?

Amazon is unequivocally top of the pile when it comes to customer love.

Following the news that the Norwich-based retailer had fallen into administration, Hawkin’s Bazaar shut its doors for good on 2nd February, after more than 40 years of operating across the UK.

The news comes just weeks after maternity and baby store Mothercare also disappeared from the high street.

It seems that Hawkin’s Bazaar is yet another victim of the Amazon effect. In the minds of consumers, the online retailer can’t be beaten for ease, value and speed – particularly when it comes to purchasing items such as gifts or toys. Our latest report outlining the Top 100 Most Loved Retail Brands shows that Amazon is unequivocally top of the pile when it comes to customer love.

Further data from our BrandVue Retail brand tracking platform (based on 6,500 interviews) places Amazon’s customer consideration score at 73.5%, while its advantage score (the number of customers who say a retailer is ‘one of the best’ or ‘better than most others’) is 62% — versus Hawkin’s Bazaar’s consideration score of 12.9% and advantage score of 31.3%.

However, the brand was not just squeezed by Amazon.

On the high street, the gift retailer appears to have failed to deliver an enriched, distinctive shopping experience that keeps coming customers back for more. The customer journey is not joined-up — and it unfortunately failed to offer consumers a truly consistent, cross-channel brand interaction.

In terms of customers who are aware of and have purchased from Hawkin’s, our data shows the brand has a Net Promoter Score of +25.4. This is significantly lower than competitor Flying Tiger’s NPS of +37.6. While Flying Tiger is operating in a similar market, the brand seems to have been more successful at capturing consumers’ imagination— perhaps, in part, due to the current fashion for an aspirational Scandinavian “hygge” lifestyle.

The Danish store also has a larger presence across the country, particularly in London, and this is reflected in its awareness score of 64.8% compared with Hawkin’s Bazaar’s 56.4%. By comparison, Argos has an awareness score of 81.5%.

In December we predicted that widespread store closures at the hands of Amazon would be a gloomy feature of the new decade. It’s sad to see this coming to pass so soon.

Find out more about BrandVue Retail or download the full Top 100 Retail Brands 2020 report.

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