Staples’ New Owner Hilco to Shutter Staples’ Stores in U.K.

Staples Store

According to the BBC, the U.S. owner of Staples has sold Staples’ U.K. arm, which employs some 1,100 people in 106 stores, to restructuring firm Hilco for a “nominal” sum. Hilco said it was planning to phase out Staples shops in the United Kingdom  over the coming months.

Paul McGowan of Hilco, which also owns entertainment retailer HMV, said: “While retail in the U.K. has been challenged recently, a team led by retail veteran Alan Gaynor will work alongside the existing management team to build a plan for success for the business.”

Staples placed its European business under review in May after U.S. office-supply giant Office Depot called off purchasing Staples for $6.3 billion in the wake of a U.S. District Court ruling. In May 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s issued a ruling that granted the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction to block the acquisition. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission had sought to block the merger, stating that: “…Staples, Inc.’s proposed $6.3 billion acquisition of Office Depot, Inc. would  significantly reduce competition nationwide in the market for ‘consumable; office supplies sold to large business customers for their own use.”

Shira Goodman, chief executive of Staples, said selling the U.K. business was “in line with its strategy of focusing on the North American and mid-market business.” She said Staples was continuing to make “good progress” with the rest of its European business in order to allow the company to “streamline our operations, sharpen our focus and more aggressively pursue our mid-market growth strategy.”

Staples’ U.K. business is said to have recently reported pre-tax losses of £5 million. However, the BBC says its online and business-to-business divisions have fared better than its stores.

More Resources

%d bloggers like this: