A Retail Experts Thoughts on the Closure of 106 Paperchase Stores in the UK

Retail Expert Nick Drewe on Paperchase's Closing of its 106 UK Stores

Another significant blow was delivered across the UK high street this week, as the beloved stationery retailer, Paperchase, announced that its remaining stores would close permanently within the coming weeks, following 55 years of trading.

Following an email announcement to customers that the retailer would cease trading online on the 17th of February, an initial online discount of 20% across all stock was launched, which was then upped to 50% with half-price discounts across all stock.

Tesco announced that they had purchased the Paperchase brand. However, the remaining UK stores are set to close permanently, as administrators failed to secure a buyer for Paperchase’s retail units.

Nick Drewe, retail expert and founder of online discounts platform, WeThrift, believes this decline has been significantly driven by the current economic climate in the UK and the retailer’s lack of price competitiveness.

“Paperchase has always aimed to appeal to a more affluent customer, and this is really where they were always going to struggle, given the current economic climate in the UK. Brits are feeling the pinch with the continued cost of living crisis and inflation at 10.1%.

A young couple who are short of money

“Given the current strain on consumer spending and their finances, many are looking to cut back on non-essential items, with highly-priced stationery being an obvious expenditure to cut back on. Shoppers have moved to grocers, retail parks, and discount stores when shopping for stationery in search of better deals and convenience.

“As well as decreasing consumer spending, the retailer has also had to battle with rising energy prices, making the overheads from running 106 stores unfeasible. It isn’t just Paperchase that has felt this strain; this is having a serious impact across the UK high street as a whole.

“Also, in terms of online retail, Paperchase failed to remain competitive, with online shoppers being charged £3.95 for delivery, only gaining free delivery if they spend over £50. As Paperchase previously partnered with online retailers such as Amazon and ASOS, many shoppers with existing delivery subscriptions to these sites would likely opt to purchase Paperchase products from here due to convenience and not having to travel to shop in-store.

“It will be interesting to see how the purchase of the Paperchase brand by Tesco will play out in stores. Tesco will likely keep the branded Paperchase offering the same, as well as incorporating some Paperchase own brand into their range.”

“As Paperchase’s target market are those more affluent shoppers, Tesco may struggle when it comes to getting their existing customers to spend more on Paperchase products, as they may well be opting for the stationery that Tesco offer at a significantly lower price point.

“However, Tesco does have the benefit of loyalty cards and discount points, which could keep the Paperchase brand on UK shelves.

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A Retail Experts Thoughts on the Closure of 106 Paperchase Stores in the UK 2

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