Stationery retailer Paperchase in Peterborough's Queensgate Shopping Centre is to close tomorrow
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Staff at stationery retailer Paperchase in Peterborough are preparing to close permanently tomorrow (February 18).
A closing down sale has started at the store, which is located on the ground floor of the Queensgate Shopping Centre.
Eight people are employed at the store, which specialises in stylish stationery, greeting cards, and distinctive gifts.
A notice in the store window on Thursday (February 16) stated there were only three trading days left of the closing down sale.
The Peterborough store is one of more than 100 across the UK which have started preparations for closure after the retailer collapsed into administration on January 31 this year.
While supermarket giant Tesco has announced it is to buy the Paperchase brand and IP it says the deal does not include the shops and about 1,000 staff nationally.
Dr Cheryl Greyson, senior lecturer in the Faculty of Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ARU Peterborough, said: “It is disappointing that Queensgate has lost another store with the closure of Paperchase but it’s not surprising as this brand has been at risk for some time.
"I worked for the flagship store in Tottenham Court Road, London more than 20 years ago and it was distinctly different from its competitors then.
"Nowadays, there are many retailers selling stationery products and greetings cards that are much cheaper.
"Fewer people send greetings cards now because they send their greetings electronically or are reluctant to spend the money on postage. Online card companies like Moonpig also offer the chance to personalise cards with messages and photos and this idea of customising products is a very strong consumer trend right now.
She added: “Paperchase had too many retail stores and with reduced footfall following Covid-19, and high rents and rates, they just couldn’t compete.
"Tesco has bought the brand and will probably reduce costs and the price point giving them the opportunity to improve their stationery range and really profit with improved design-led ‘Back to School’ ranges.”
Paperchase joins a growing number of retailers in Queensgate that have closed recently.
In September last year, the kitchen and homeware goods retailer Lakeland announced it was to shut with the loss of seven jobs.
A spokesman for the retailer said it had not been able to secure a long-term profitable future for the store in Peterborough.
Fashion retailer Joules closed its store in the Queensgate in December after the company went into administration. Although the retailer was bought by Leicester-based Next, which paid £7 million for the Joules head office plus 100 stores, saving 1,450 jobs, the Queensgate store was not one of those to be saved.
Dr Greyson said: “Queensgate is trying to reinvent itself for our new retail climate and I’m really excited to see them trying to create a new experience led shopping destination with the newly opened Puttstars mini golf, and a new cinema complex and restaurants to come.
“We have just been joined by more than 120 postgraduate students at ARU Peterborough and they are keen to have things to do close to the campus.
"With the new investment in Peterborough, I’m confident we will see more visitors to the city centre and have a shopping centre of which locals can be proud.”