Popular stationery brand Paperchase is on the brink of administration – with 173 stores at risk.
The 50-year-old company – which has a branch at Next, in Festival Park – has filed a notice to administrators today (Tuesday, January 5).
There are more than 1,500 jobs at risk, with the majority of employees currently on furlough in line with lockdown restrictions – reports The Mirror.
Accountancy giant PwC is handling the process, which will give the chain 10 days to start restructuring talks.
Paperchase, which specialises in gifts and stationery, said it typically brings in 40 per cent of its annual revenue over Christmas.
However in December, the majority of its 173 outlets – including those in department stores and stations – were closed in line with Covid-19 guidance.
A spokesman for Paperchase told The Mirror measures to contain the virus ahead of Christmas had put ‘unbearable strain on retail businesses across the country’.
The company thanked staff for their hard work during the pandemic and said it’s ‘working hard’ to find a solution.
They said: “The cumulative effects of lockdown one, lockdown two – 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 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.”