Berkhamsted's Paperchase store could be at risk as company on brink of collapsing into administration

1,500 jobs could be at risk across the chain

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 3:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 3:26 pm

Paperchase is on the brink of collapsing into administration after sales were impacted by coronavirus restrictions, putting 1,500 jobs at risk according to Sky News.

As the country enters a third lockdown in a bid to slow down the spread of coronavirus, the stationary chain which has 127 stores -including one on Berkhamsted's High Street - and 46 concessions, confirmed it had filed a notice to appoint administrators from PwC.

In March 2019, Paperchase had undergone a so-called company voluntary arrangement (CVA) - before the COVID-19 crisis - in a bid to ease cost burdens on the business.

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But it admitted on Tuesday that its recovery plan had been thwarted by restrictions last year in the run-up to Christmas, a season which usually accounts for 40% of annual revenue, as shoppers were reluctant to venture out.

A 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."