As the UK high street continues to be squeezed by the economic downturn, competitive price pressures, increased costs and consumer caution, yet another well-known retailer has announced plans to close several stores as part of a restructuring process.
Stationery supplier, Paperchase, has launched a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), with plans to request reductions in rent from landlords and to leave some locations.
While most of the 145 stores will continue to trade as usual, a small number of loss-making stores will close, as the company looks to reshape “in order to ensure a long-term, sustainable future for the business.”
Duncan Gibson, CEO of Paperchase, says: “Paperchase is a much-loved brand, with a loyal customer base, and a fantastic design-led product offer.
“We have decided to take decisive action now to ensure we’re able to succeed in the future. We believe this is in the best interest of the company, our people, creditors and our customers.”
In other news, research from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) shows that UK retail sales fell 0.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis in February – compared to a 0.6 per cent rise in the same period in the previous year. Meanwhile, analysis from Barclaycard shows that consumer spending growth dropped to 1.2 per cent year-on-year in February, down from 3.8 per cent in the previous 12 months.
BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson says: “Uncertainty surrounding the UK’s imminent exit from the EU has hit consumer spending.”
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Further reading: Retailers must evolve in order to survive