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Paperchase on the brink of administration

Written by: Emma Lunn
The stationary chain looks set to be the first retail casualty of 2021 after coronavirus restrictions hammered pre-Christmas high street trade.

Paperchase’s chief financial officer Mike Woodcock has filed court papers indicating plans to appoint administrators to Paperchase Products Limited.

Filing the notice is a legal measure which protects Paperchase from its creditors for 10 days.

Accountancy giant PwC is reportedly being lined up to handle the process.

Paperchase has 173 stores and concessions, and employs about 1,500 staff. It normally earns 40% of its sales in November and December, but lockdown measures and tier restrictions forced it to shut most of its shops over the festive period as it was classed as a ‘non-essential’ retailer.

Retail sales fell 3.8% in November, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Paperchase said it’s looking at options for the business.

A spokesman for the retailer said: “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 notice of intention 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.”

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