The future of national chain Paperchase was left uncertain earlier this year after administrators were appointed – however, a deal has been struck that will save 70% of their stores.
The cumulative effective of two national lockdowns on the stationary chain put increased stress on its operation and it was given 10 days to figure out a rescue plan earlier this month.
The future of Guernsey’s branch was uncertain, but the firm remained optimistic that a deal could be made to save the store.
That rescue plan has now been found.
Pictured: The national chain will keep most of its high street stores, but we don't know if that means Guernsey's local branch.
A “substantial” part of the business has been sold to Aspen Phoenix NewCo, which will now be trading as Paperchase. The sale will allow 90 out of 127 stores across the British Isles to remain open.
The business will remain an “omni-channel business” and have a smaller retail footprint. What this means for the stores in Guernsey and Jersey is unknown at this point, with the details still being thrashed out by audit firm PwC.
A new company structure is being created that is more fit for purpose, with a stronger online presence to accommodate the new retail environment that has emerged from the corona virus pandemic.
“The cumulative impact of lockdowns and related restrictions means that it is imperative we make this tough but necessary decision to safeguard Paperchase’s future,” said CEO Olly Raeburn.
Pictured: Paperchase has been deemed non-essential in the UK, so shops have been unable to operate during lockdown.
The business will keep to its brand image, focusing on cards and stationery. Yet it’s unclear at this stage whether Guernsey will keep its high street store. Since we cannot simply hop in a car and drive to the next town, a reduced high street presence might mean we have no Paperchase at all, and another shop disappears from our Town centre.
Not to mention the jobs that could be lost.
“We, of course, recognise that this affects many of our colleagues and we will do all we can to assist them during this difficult time," said Mr Raeburn.
We have asked PwC, the firm heavily involved with the restructuring of the business, for comment on whether we can expect Paperchase's Guernsey branch to stay.
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