47 jobs lost

Trailblazing baby products firm TotsBots collapses

Fiona and Magnus Smyth had big plans for 2024

TotsBots, a manufacturer and online retailer of reusable nappies and other products, has called in liquidators who have made 47 staff redundant just months after the company was bought back by its founders.

Established in Glasgow in 2000 by Magnus and Fiona Smyth, the company has experienced challenging trading conditions, including rising costs and fragile consumer confidence.

Attempts to ease cash flow through new funding solutions have not worked out and the directors appointed Interpath Advisory as provisional liquidators. The business ceased trading immediately.

After being created on a kitchen table, TotsBots experienced stellar growth, peaking with 75 employees, and in 2015 it received a five figure investment from UK Steel Enterprise to fund a move to bigger premises. Its products were stocked in Boots and Tesco and it built a substantial export business.

Five years later the founders sold the company to private equity firm, True Global, and merged the business with its Frugi Organic Childrenswear brand.

At the end of 2022 Frugi went into administration and was acquired in a pre-pack deal by Celtic & Co. The TotsBots founders agreed to buy back the company in March this year and planned to bring all production back to the UK.

At the time, the Smyths announced that they had “some very exciting things in the 2024 pipeline”. 

Alistair McAlinden, head of Interpath Advisory in Scotland and joint provisional liquidator, said: “This award-winning family-owned business had blazed a trail for producing sustainable and environmentally friendly baby and period products.

“So it’s hugely disappointing that, despite the very best efforts of the directors, challenging trading conditions have meant that the Company is unable to continue to trade.

“Our immediate priority is to provide employees with the help and support they need to make claims from the Redundancy Payments Service. 

“We have engaged with Skills Development Scotland’s Partnership Action for Continuing Employment team, in order that PACE support can be made available to employees too. 

“We have commenced initial steps to realise the company’s assets which include, amongst other things, stock, manufacturing equipment and intellectual property, including the brand and domain names. We would therefore ask any interested parties to contact us as soon as possible.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.