Stationery chain Paperchase is on the brink of administration as new Covid lockdown puts 1,500 jobs and 173 stores at risk

  • Paperchase appointed accountancy firm PwC to handle administration process  
  • Approximately 1,500 jobs and 173 stores are on the line for the stationary retailer
  • The retailer usually makes 40 per cent of its sales over November and December

Paperchase is on the brink of administration after Covid-19 restrictions placed ‘unbearable strain’ on the card and gift retailer’s Christmas sales.

The stationary chain, which usually makes 40 per cent of its annual sales over November and December, was particularly hit by lockdown measures over the festive period.   

Approximately 1,500 jobs and 173 stores are on the line for the retailer, who appointed accountancy firm PwC to handle the administration process, The Telegraph reports.  

A spokesperson on behalf of Paperchase said: ‘The cumulative effects of lockdown one, lockdown two – at the start of the Christmas shopping period – and now the current restrictions have put unbearable strain on retail businesses across the country.

The stationary chain, which usually makes 40 per cent of its annual sales over November and December, was particularly hit by lockdown measures over the festive period

‘Paperchase is not immune despite our strong online trading. Out of lockdown we’ve traded well, but as the country faces further restrictions for some months to come, we have to find a sustainable future for Paperchase.

‘We are working hard to find that solution and this NOI is a necessary part of this work. This is not the situation we wanted to be in. Our team has been fantastic throughout this year and we cannot thank them enough for their support.’  

The news followed yesterday’s announcement that England has entered a third national lockdown, seeing all non-essential retailers close countrywide. 

Coronavirus lockdown rules hammered the UK High Street in November as retail sales dropped by 3.8 per cent when compared to October.  

In England, non-essential shops were subject to restrictions from November 5 to December 2, in parts of Scotland from November 20 to December 11 and in Wales from October 23 to November 9.  

The news followed yesterday’s announcement that England has entered a third national lockdown, seeing all non-essential retailers close countrywide

Despite the UK seeing an online shopping surge of 74.7 per cent year-on-year over Christmas, the company said it was ‘not immune’ to the struggles of the high street despite ‘strong online trading’. 

The company now has ten days in which it can attempt to restructure the business to save jobs and avoid liquidation whilst protected from its creditors.   

Paperchase has been experiencing losses for some years, which grew from £6.3million to £10million in the year to February 2019, with turnover falling five per cent to £125m, The Telegraph reports.

In March the company struggled to cut costs by entering a company voluntary arrangement which saw landlords reduce rents at 100 stores, 28 of which saw a 50 per cent reduction for three months after which some were closed.

The chain was bought from American bookseller Borders in 2010 in a £20m management buyout backed by Private equity Primary Capital. It was put on the market in 2015 but failed to receive any suitable offers, reports The Telegraph.   

Major job cuts and losses since the Covid-19 pandemic began  

There have been more than 250,000 job losses or potential redundancies announced since the start of the pandemic.

Here is a list of some of the high-profile British employers that have announced major cuts since March 23:

Total: 265,185

  • November 27 – Arcadia Group – 13,000 at risk
  • November 26 – Mitchells & Butlers – 1,300
  • November 19 – E.On – 700
  • November 17 – Johnson Service Group – 1,550
  • November 12 – WH Smith – 200
  • November 9 – Reach – 150
  • November 5 – Sainsbury’s – 3,500
  • November 5 – Caterpillar – 700
  • November 4 – John Lewis Partnership – 1,500
  • November 4 – Lloyds – 1,070
  • October 29 – Pizza Express – 1,300
  • October 27 – Revolution Bars – 130
  • October 16 – Pret a Manger – 400
  • October 15 – Marston’s – 2,150
  • October 14 – Gourmet Burger Kitchen – 362
  • October 9 – Edinburgh Woollen Mill – 24,000 at risk
  • October 8 – National Trust – 1,300
  • October 8 – HSS Hire – 300
  • October 7 – Manchester Airport Group – 892
  • October 7 – Greene King – 800
  • October 6 – Virgin Money – 400
  • October 6 – Vp – 150
  • October 5 – Cineworld – 5,500 (many cuts likely to be temporary)
  • September 30 – TSB – 900
  • September 30 – Shell – 9,000 worldwide
  • September 29 – Ferguson – 1,200
  • September 22 – Wetherspoon – 400 to 450
  • September 22 – Whitbread – 6,000
  • September 18 – Investec – 210
  • September 15 – Waitrose – 124
  • September 14 – London City Airport – 239
  • September 9 – Lloyds Bank – 865
  • September 9 – Pizza Hut – 450
  • September 4 – Virgin Atlantic – 1,150
  • September 3 – Costa – 1,650
  • August 27 – Pret a Manger – 2,800 (includes 1,000 announced on July 6)
  • August 26 – Gatwick Airport – 600
  • August 25 – Co-operative Bank – 350
  • August 20 – Alexander Dennis – 650
  • August 18 – Bombardier – 95
  • August 18 – Marks & Spencer – 7,000
  • August 14 – Yo! Sushi – 250
  • August 14 – River Island – 350
  • August 12 – NatWest – 550
  • August 11 – InterContinental Hotels – 650 worldwide
  • August 11 – Debenhams – 2,500
  • August 7 – Evening Standard – 115
  • August 6 – Travelex – 1,300
  • August 6 – Wetherspoons – 110 to 130
  • August 5 – M&Co – 380
  • August 5 – Arsenal FC – 55
  • August 5 – WH Smith – 1,500
  • August 4 – Dixons Carphone – 800
  • August 4 – Pizza Express – 1,100 at risk
  • August 3 – Hays Travel – up to 878
  • August 3 – DW Sports – 1,700 at risk
  • July 31 – Byron – 651
  • July 30 – Pendragon – 1,800
  • July 29 – Waterstones – unknown number of head office roles
  • July 28 – Selfridges – 450
  • July 27 – Oak Furnitureland – 163 at risk
  • July 23 – Dyson – 600 in UK, 300 overseas
  • July 22 – Mears – fewer than 200
  • July 20 – Marks & Spencer – 950 at risk
  • July 17 – Azzurri Group (owns Zizzi and Ask Italian) – up to 1,200
  • July 16 – Genting – 1,642 at risk
  • July 16 – Burberry – 150 in UK, 350 overseas
  • July 15 – Banks Mining – 250 at risk
  • July 15 – Buzz Bingo – 573 at risk 
  • July 14 – Vertu – 345
  • July 14 – DFS – up to 200 at risk
  • July 9 – General Electric – 369
  • July 9 – Eurostar – unknown number
  • July 9 – Boots – 4,000
  • July 9 – John Lewis – 1,300 at risk
  • July 9 – Burger King – 1,600 at risk
  • July 7 – Reach (owns Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspapers) – 550
  • July 6 – Pret a Manger – 1,000 at risk
  • July 2 – Casual Dining Group (owns Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge) – 1,909
  • July 1 – SSP (owns Upper Crust) – 5,000 at risk
  • July 1 – Arcadia (owns TopShop) – 500
  • July 1 – Harrods – 700
  • July 1 – Virgin Money – 300
  • June 30 – Airbus – 1,700
  • June 30 – TM Lewin – 600
  • June 30 – Smiths Group – ‘some job losses’
  • June 25 – Royal Mail – 2,000
  • June 24 – Jet2 – 102
  • June 24 – Swissport – 4,556
  • June 24 – Crest Nicholson – 130
  • June 23 – Shoe Zone – unknown number of jobs in head office
  • June 19 – Aer Lingus – 500
  • June 17 – HSBC – unknown number of jobs in UK, 35,000 worldwide
  • June 15 – Jaguar Land Rover – 1,100
  • June 15 – Travis Perkins – 2,500
  • June 12 – Le Pain Quotidien – 200
  • June 11 – Heathrow – at least 500
  • June 11 – Bombardier – 600
  • June 11 – Johnson Matthey – 2,500
  • June 11 – Centrica – 5,000
  • June 10 – Quiz – 93
  • June 10 – The Restaurant Group (owns Frankie and Benny’s) – 3,000
  • June 10 – Monsoon Accessorize – 545
  • June 10 – Everest Windows – 188
  • June 8 – BP – 10,000 worldwide
  • June 8 – Mulberry – 375
  • June 5 – Victoria’s Secret – 800 at risk
  • June 5 – Bentley – 1,000
  • June 4 – Aston Martin – 500
  • June 4 – Lookers – 1,500
  • May 29 – Belfast International Airport – 45
  • May 28 – Debenhams (in second announcement) – ‘hundreds’ of jobs
  • May 28 – EasyJet – 4,500 worldwide
  • May 26 – McLaren – 1,200
  • May 22 – Carluccio’s – 1,000
  • May 21 – Clarks – 900
  • May 20 – Rolls-Royce – 9,000
  • May 20 – Bovis Homes – unknown number
  • May 19 – Ovo Energy – 2,600
  • May 19 – Antler – 164
  • May 15 – JCB – 950 at risk
  • May 13 – Tui – 8,000 worldwide
  • May 12 – Carnival UK (owns P&O Cruises and Cunard) – 450
  • May 11 – P&O Ferries – 1,100 worldwide
  • May 5 – Virgin Atlantic – 3,150
  • May 1 – Ryanair – 3,000 worldwide
  • April 30 – Oasis Warehouse – 1,800
  • April 29 – WPP – unknown number
  • April 28 – British Airways – 12,000
  • April 23 – Safran Seats – 400
  • April 23 – Meggitt – 1,800 worldwide
  • April 21 – Cath Kidston – 900
  • April 17 – Debenhams – 422
  • March 31 – Laura Ashley – 268
  • March 30 – BrightHouse – 2,400 at risk
  • March 27 – Chiquito – 1,500 at risk

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