Worst performing Office Outlets will close
STATIONERY chain Office Outlet has stepped up its bid for survival with plans to shut a handful of its worst performing stores.
The move threatens 50 jobs, but the retailer claims it needs to shrink further if it is to ride out the rapid changes sweeping through the high street.
It is planning to restructure the business using a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), a controversial lifeline that helps businesses cut costs. Office Outlet has around 90 stores employing more than 1,000 staff. Bosses have spent two years overhauling the business. However, its finances have come under strain from the biting conditions for traditional retailers.
Chris Yates, the managing director, said it was taking “necessary actions” to drive down costs and “restore longterm profitability”.
HMV owner Hilco Capital snapped up Staples’ UK stores from the US business for £1 in 2016. It rebranded them as Office Outlet and sold the operation to a management buyout spearheaded by Mr Yates.
Accountancy giant Deloitte has been appointed to advise Office Outlet on the CVA, which will face a vote by landlords and creditors next month. The company is aiming to close the stores towards the end of this year. Daniel Butters of Deloitte said no stores will close immediately and employees will continue to be paid on time.