Uncertain future for Horsham store after chain enters administration

Office Outlet has entered administration. Photo courtesy of Google
Office Outlet has entered administration. Photo courtesy of Google

A national retailer which has a branch in Horsham has entered administration.

More than 1,000 jobs have been put at risk after struggling stationery firm Office Outlet confirmed it had appointed administrators today (March 19).

The company was previously known as Staples before being bought out by restructuring specialist Hilco Capital in 2016 and rebranded.

Financially advisor Detolitte said it been appointed as joint administrators to SUK Retail Limited - trading as Office Outlet - and would oversee process.

Office Outlet has more than 90 stores across the UK, including one in Worthing Road, and employs 1,200 members of staff.

Deloitte said the business has been put up for sale but stores will remain trading throughout the sales process.

Chris Yates, chief executive of Office Outlet, said: “Over the last two years the business has been transformed from the heavily loss-making old Staples business to a near breakeven 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”.

Richard Hawes, joint administrator, 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.

“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.”