Another major retailer is to disappear from UK high streets, as struggling office stationery brand Staples has been offloaded by its American owner.
The UK arm of US firm Staples – which employs around 1,100 staff across 106 stores in Britain including Northampton, Banbury, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Luton – has been bought by restructuring specialist Hilco, which also owns HMV, for a “nominal sum”.
Hilco said it would now phase out the Staples brand in the UK over the coming months. Plans for the store estate and the impact on staff were not disclosed.
Staples’ European operations are also under threat. Officials in the US put the European business under review in May, and the outcome of this review has not yet been concluded.
According to its most recent accounts, Staples’ UK retail operations reported pre-tax losses of £5m for the year to the end of January 2015, and this followed losses of £7.1m a year earlier. The firm has debts of £60m.