In-Time Watch Services Limited ceased trading, with scores of staff made redundant, just before Christmas.

The Liverpool-based business generated sales of £8.3 million at its peak in 2018 and employed 170 people.

But turnover had slumped to £3 million in the pandemic affected 2021 and an operating profit of almost £400,000 four years ago had turned into a loss of £833,000 in 2021.

An area manager for the firm shared on LinkedIn: “Sad news this time of year, but my employer has gone into liquidation. My thoughts are with all of the colleagues that have now found themselves in a terrible situation at this time of year”.

It had kiosks within department stores and shopping centres offering services like jewellery cleaning, watch battery changes and bracelet re-sizing.

Restrictions on the retail industry during covid had the greatest impact on the company, but another blow to the business came in May 2021 when 33 Debenhams stores, where it had kiosks, closed.

In 2022, In-Time tried to replace that presence with a developing a partnership with John Lewis for in-store concessions.

It is currently unclear whether a new owner might be found who may resurrect the company, or whether it can trade out of its current insolvency with the help of protection from creditors.