Stationery chain Paperchase, with stores in Tunbridge Wells, Canterbury, Maidstone and Bluewater, on verge of administration

Yet another retailer faces a bleak new year after it emerged stationery giant Paperchase is teetering on the brink of administration.

The chain, which has 173 stores nationwide, including branches in Tunbridge Wells, Canterbury, Maidstone, Bluewater, Sevenoaks and Bromley, is the latest to be hit hard by the impact of the on-going health crisis.

Paperchase is on the brink of going into administration
Paperchase is on the brink of going into administration

It has experienced a rocky road in recent years - implementing a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in 2019. That is a deal which allows it to restructure repayment terms with those it owes money to in order to continue trading.

But now it appears administrators are set to be appointed after reports accountancy firm PwC has been approached to handle the process.

The store was hit hard by the closures and restrictions put in place in the run up to Christmas - traditionally its busiest time of the year. The new national lockdown means all outlets nationwide will remain shut. The question now is whether they will all reopen.

It will put 1,500 jobs at risk nationwide.

The administrators will look at ways to keep the company trading either through restructuring the business or looking for a buyer.

The first Paperchase store opened in London in 1968 - its 100th outlet being unveiled in 2013. It is today owned by Primary Capital Partners, a private equity firm.

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