Paperchase’s US expansion is back on the cards

Paperchase’s ceo Timothy Melgund reports sales are up for the chain.
Paperchase’s ceo Timothy Melgund reports sales are up for the chain.

Paperchase rose against the challenges of what its ceo Timothy Melgund describes as a “difficult year”, not helped by last June’s Brexit referendum decision. The design-led retailer reported a 4.3% growth in overall sales (to £119.2 million), a 0.7% nudge up on like-for-like and a whopping 31% surge in its online business for the year to January 31.

It revealed a 16% drop in EBITDA (excluding exceptional items), taking it down to £9.1million.

Some of the Paperchase gang at The Henries last Thursday.
Some of the Paperchase gang at The Henries last Thursday.

While sales from Paperchase’s overseas operations were largely flat over the last year, growth is once again on the cards in the States.

Having postponed its plans to open stores in Chicago, due to the turmoil the other side of the Atlantic, Paperchase is now back on course to open two stores in the ‘windy city’ next April, one in the main station, the other in the Southport area.

Paperchase’s new concession in the Crawley branch of Next.
Paperchase’s new concession in the Crawley branch of Next.

As well as new store openings in the UK, Paperchase has continued to develop on the ecommerce front.

“Our investments in digital are bearing fruit and we continue to see strong growth online,” Timothy Melgund told Retail Gazette.

Summing up his current feelings about the marketplace, Timothy said: “The UK retail landscape is not for the faint-hearted and there are of course significant headwinds.” He remains however, assured of Paperchase’s position and its popularity with the general public. “The Paperchase brand and affinity with customers have never been greater and we focus on our new product development and expansion strategy with vigour.”

This weekend sees Paperchase is holding a Brush Lettering Workshop in its Tottenham Court Road flagship store.
This weekend sees Paperchase is holding a Brush Lettering Workshop in its Tottenham Court Road flagship store.

* There have been a couple of recent changes to Paperchase’s senior management team. Duncan Gibson, a former Disney Store exec, has joined the company taking on the role of chief operating officer. This also coincided with Kevin Heath, the retailer’s retail finance director being promoted to the position of chief financial officer, following the departure of David Bateman after 17 years with the business.

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