Future of Sheffield’s Paperchase shops at risk as retailer is on the brink of collapsing into administration
A stationery retailer with two shops in Sheffield is on the brink of collapsing into administration after sales were hammered by closures at the end of last year.
Paperchase, which has 1,500 employees and 127 stores, including branches on Fargate and at Meadowhall, confirmed it has filed a notice to appoint administrators from PwC to advise on its insolvency process.
It launched a Company Voluntary Arrangement restructuring last March but this was heavily impacted by the pandemic.
It is understood the retailer's latest decision was driven in particular by poor sales in November and December, a period that normally accounts for 40 per cent of its annual sales.
The announcement comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the third English lockdown, forcing non-essential shops to shut.
A Paperchase spokesman said: "The cumulative effects of lockdown 1.0, lockdown 2.0 - at the start of the Christmas shopping period - and now the current restrictions have put unbearable strain on retail businesses across the country.
"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 (Notice of Intent to appoint administrators) 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."
Paperchase’s troubles follow the collapse of Debenhams and Arcadia – the owner of Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and more – last year.