HORDES of bargain hunters have descended on an Edgware shopping centre as two major stores enter the final throes of closing down sales.

Adams Kids is set to close by the end of today, while Ethel Austin staff were only told yesterday the store in the Broadwalk Centre will shut permanently tomorrow.

Large queues of young mothers had to be kept out of Adams by closing the electric shutters as the last remaining items of stock were picked through.

The childrenswear firm has been in administration three times in the last three years, but is shutting many of its 125 stores nationwide permanently.

Meanwhile around 20 staff from Ethel Austin will be forced to join the dole queue after administrators told them yesterday the store would shut by tomorrow.

Manager Zoe Toms said the news had been a “hammer blow” to the staff, who were told four weeks ago a new buyer had been found for the chain, which went into administration in February.

She told the Harrow Times: “We were told last week we would be going into a closing down sale, but only told yesterday we would be closing tomorrow.

“Most of the staff haven't found another job yet although a lot have been going for interviews, but it's tough because there are so many people out there looking.

“A lot of customers have said they are really sad to see us going, and with Adams shutting there will be nowhere to get baby clothes in the centre any more.”

Another manager, Rob Innes, was transferred to the store after his was closed last month.

He said: “We haven't really been told a lot about what's happening, the administrators have kept it pretty hush hush.

“We knew there was something wrong at Christmas when they started giving us smaller deliveries at our busiest time.”

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