Rapid enters administration

David McCourt

The Royal Bank of Scotland has appointed administrators to run Rapid Hardware, based in Basnett Street, Liverpool.

The family-run business failed to secure a deal with its bankers on Friday night and was forced last night to hand over control to administrators Duff & Phelps.

The store's parent company, Rapid Group Holdings, reported pre-tax losses of £2.2m for the 17 months to the end of June 2011 compared with a loss of £333,000 for the year to the end of January 2010.

Martin Doherty, managing director of Rapid Hardware, has appealed to potential investors in attempt to rescue the firm.

Rapid originally opened in Renshaw Street in 1971. The retailer moved to 100,000 sq ft in rear of the former George Henry Lee / John Lewis building in Williamson Square, owned by Grosvenor, in August 2009. Grosvenor acquired and re-let the Renshaw Street units as part of the deal. Legal & General acquired the building from Grosvenor in 2010 for £11.75m.

Rapid initially saw sales rise by 6% a month following the move, but the increase was lower than expected.

The store is open for business as usual.

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Got to save Rapid its a local institution! All we will be left with is the B & Qs and Homebases of this world! This is a quirky shop and has some great bargains!

By Annie Baines

So sad I do feel sorry for the staff. Rapid fitted a good bathroom for me nearly 2yrs ago. Sunday 3 rd of February we ordered 2 shower enclosure and paid deposit. Why this was aloud to happen just 2 days before the news broke Someone must have had some idea what was going on. To still take orders .

By Margo