Tough time for shop staff in Peterborough as stationery retailer Office Outlet goes into administration

Staff at a stationery retailer in Peterborough are facing an uncertain future after the business plunged into administration.

By Paul Grinnell
Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 2:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th March 2019, 2:16 pm
Office Outlet has gone into administration.
Office Outlet has gone into administration.

Office Outlet, which has a branch at the Boulevard Retail Park, in Maskew Avenue, has suffered from a slump in trading and a shortage of finance.

The company, which has more than 90 stores across the UK and employs 1,200 people, will continue to trade while administrators try to find a buyer.

It is not known how many people are employed at the Peterborough store.

Office Outlet has gone into administration.

Richard Hawes, joint administrator for Deloitte, said: "In addition to a general downturn in trading as a result of the ongoing decline in the stationery market and UK retail in general, the company has recently experienced a reduction in credit from key suppliers, given the economic outlook which has severely impacted the financial position of the company.

"We are hopeful a buyer can still be found for the business in the coming weeks and we will continue to trade the business with that aim in mind.”

Chris Yates, chief executive of Office Outlet, said: "Over the last two years the business has been transformed from the heavily loss-making old Staples business to a near breakeven modern multichannel retailer.

"However, additional growth capital was required to continue delivery of the next stage of the management buyout business plan.

"Despite being highly impressed by the Office Outlet story potential investors have held back due to retail sector sentiment and the general level of uncertainty."

Office Outlet is the latest casualty of the tough challenges faced by traditional retailers battling with falling customer numbers and online competition.

Over the last six months, Peterborough has seen the loss of music store HMV, in the Queensgate shopping centre, Toys R Us, Maplin plus furniture retailer Multiyork and discount retailer Poundland.

Just a few weeks, ago stationery retailer Colemans announced it would close its store in Cowgate, Peterborough, after 36 years trading in the city.

The company cited falling sales as the primary reason for the closure, which will take place next month, and will mean the loss of five jobs.