Prominent stationery supplier enters administration

Tue, 19 Mar 2019 | ADMINISTRATION



Another British high street retailer has fallen victim to the wrath of the present economic climate and has entered administration due to its inability to pay its rent.

Office Outlet, which previous traded as Staples (but has no connection to the online-only business of the same name), has been forced to call in professional services firm Deloitte to handle the administration process, with partners Richard Michael Hawes and Daniel Francis Butters appointed as joint administrators.

Hawes 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."

Office Outlet is the trading name of SUK Retail Limited and SUK Oldco Limited.

The company, which has roughly 90 stores across the country, is known for its high-quality stationery products and is thought to be the largest retailer of its kind in the UK. However, despite going into administration, the administrators have said the company's trading operations will continue as normal until a new buyer is sought.

The senior management board of Office Outlet noted a “significant decline in footfall” and, due to a company voluntary agreement (CVA) in August 2018, had been planning to restructure its fixed costs in order to prepare for future, long-term profitability.

Office Outlet’s journey began at the end of 2016 when US stationary mogul Staples sold its UK branch to private equity firm Hilco and rebranded soon after. Its chief executive, Chris Yates, who managed the turnaround initiative under Hilco’s guidance, successfully completed a management buyout (MBO) in 2018.

The administrators are inviting potential buyers to express offers of interest immediately.

For more news stories about administrations click here. For all our administrations listings, click here.


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