Ex-Borders UK boss interested in Hobbycraft

Former owner of the beleaguered retailer expresses an interest in arts and crafts chain.
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Luke Johnson has told Retail Week that he is considering bidding for Hobbycraft after it was put up for sale last week.

The entrepreneur sold Borders in an MBO in July, He told Retail Week this week: “I’d love to own it. Whether I could afford it or not I don’t know. I had conversations a while back. HobbyCraft is a category killer in a wonderful niche market.”

The 39-store retailer wants to expand to 180 stores in the long term, but lacks the funds to achieve this.

It was recently reported that the retailer's chief executive Chris Crombie is considering buying the business from its current owner, the Haskins family.

Johnson said there is little he would want to change about the business if he became an investor, saying: “They’re doing so brilliantly already.”

He added that the retailer needed to look at operating a transactional website in the near future, like its US counterparts.

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