Retailer Dawsons Music re-enters administration, closing all but one location and axing 48 jobs

The music retailer is one of the oldest in the UK.

UK music retailer Dawsons Music has re-entered administration after being saved from it last year. A new arrangement sees only the brand’s Chester location remain open, with 48 jobs being lost across the other locations.

The chain had previously operated online and in six locations: Manchester, Liverpool, Chester, Leeds, Reading and Belfast. Only Chester will continue to operate as a physical store, with the brand retaining an online presence.

Dawsons Music first entered administration in May of 2020, however was initially saved due to a sale orchestrated by KPMG. Andrew M. Oliver of Arranged Music Options and his wife Karen Oliver purchased the chain to form a new company, Dawsons Music & Sound Ltd, which took on management of the business.


Despite this, Neil Morley and Howard Smith from Interpath Advisory, previously KPMG’s business restructuring practice, were appointed Joint Administrators to Dawsons Music & Sound Ltd. on Wednesday 1 September 2021.

A statement given by Interpath Advisory revealed that: “Immediately following their appointment, the Joint Administrators sold part of the Company’s business and assets to Arranged Musical Options Ltd. The business will continue to trade from one store in Chester, as well as retaining its warehouse facility in Haydock. A total of 18 members of staff have transferred to Arranged Musical Options Ltd. as part of the sale.

“Regrettably, due to the closure of its remaining operations, 48 members of staff have been made redundant on the appointment of the Joint Administrators. As a matter of priority, the Joint Administrators will be providing these employees with the support and information they need to be able to make claims from the Redundancy Payments Office.

Interpath director Neil Morley added: “It’s been a really challenging period for Dawsons. The company had continued to experience tough trading conditions, exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19 on high street footfall, even following the easing of lockdown restrictions. Additionally, the company was also experiencing supply issues due to the global shortage of silicon chips and the challenges facing international freight and distribution channels.

“Against this backdrop, we’re pleased to have been able to secure the sale of part of the business to Arranged Musical Options Ltd., which will ensure the Dawsons brand continues to trade a retail store and retains an online presence.”

Dawsons Music was established in 1898 and is one of the UK’s oldest music retailers. In addition to music equipment retail, the company’s education division supplies music equipment to schools and higher education institutions across the UK and internationally.