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Office Outlet has gone into administration today (Tuesday) putting 1,200 jobs at risk across the country, as well placing a question mark over the company’s planned relocation on the Isle of Wight.

The stationery retailer, which has around 90 stores throughout the United Kingdom, was formed when the offline Staples empire was snapped up by Hilco Capital in 2016. Back in September the management changed hands again with a Company Voluntary Arrangement put in place.

It was exclusively revealed to Island Echo last month that Office Outlet are set to downsize to a smaller unit at the Coppins Bridge complex rather than vacate Newport altogether. It comes after closing down signs were placed into the windows of Office Outlet at the tail end of 2018. However, that is now all up in the air following today’s announcement.

Richard Haws, Joint administrator, has today said:

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“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.

“We are hopeful a buyer can still be found for the business in the coming weeks and we will continue to trade the business with that aim in mind.”

Chris Yates, Office Outlet’s Chief Executive, adds:

“Over the last two years the business has been transformed from the heavily loss-making old Staples business to a near break-even modern multichannel retailer. However, additional growth capital was required to continue delivery of the next stage of the management buyout business plan.

“Despite being highly impressed by the Office Outlet story, potential investors have held back due to retail sector sentiment and the general level of uncertainty.”

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All stores will continue to trade as normal whilst attempts are made to find a buyer.

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