Paperchase: The Iconic Stationery Brand Bought by Tesco

Paperchase: The Iconic Stationery


Paperchase is a popular UK retailer of stationery and gifts, offering a wide range of stylish and unique products for all your stationery needs for over 50 years. From stationery such as notebooks and pens to gifts and decorations, Paperchase has something for everyone.

The design-led items, carefully crafted and brought to life using only the finest materials, are available in over 101 stores and concessions across the UK and Ireland, as well as on their website.

Paperchase prides itself on its commitment to creativity and innovation, which is reflected in the quality and variety of products offered.

One of Paperchase’s standout features is its extensive range of notebooks and journals. These come in a variety of sizes, styles, and designs, so you can find the perfect notebook for your needs. Whether you’re looking for something simple and understated or something bold and eye-catching, you’ll find it at Paperchase.

In addition to notebooks, Paperchase also offers a wide selection of writing utensils such as pens, pencils, and highlighters in a variety of colors and designs. Plus, Paperchase offers a range of accessories like sticky notes, tapes, and desk organizers that make it easy to keep your workspace organized and stylish.

But it’s not just about stationery. Paperchase offers a range of gifts and decorations to brighten up your home or office. From whimsical mugs and pillows to stylish wall art and vases, Paperchase has something for everyone. In addition, Paperchase offers a range of seasonal items such as Christmas decorations and wrapping paper to add a touch of festivity to your home.

Originally based in the United Kingdom, Paperchase stationery has since opened stores throughout Europe, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to its own stores, it has concessions in several UK department stores including Selfridges, House of Fraser, and Next.

After filing for bankruptcy on Jan. 30, 2023, Tesco acquired the rights to use the name and other intellectual property rights, but not the physical locations.


Judith Cash and Eddie Pond, both art students, founded Paperchase in 1968. The company changed hands several times until it was financed by W. H. Smith in 1985; it continued to grow and was renamed Paperchase Products Ltd. in 1996 after being purchased by the current management with the help of a venture capital fund.

Within the Borders network, Graphite Capital expanded globally when it was acquired by Borders Group Inc. in 2004.

Borders sold a majority stake in its U.K. and Irish bookstores to Risk Capital for £10 million in 2007.

In May 2008, 12 years after selling its £1 million stake, W H Smith was interested in a £50 million bid for Borders Group. In May 2008, Borders Group announced that it was considering selling its 97% stake to either HgCapital, Isis Equity Partners, or Change Capital.

When Borders went bankrupt and closed its doors in late 2009, Paperchase lost a significant presence on the UK high street, as it had a franchise in every Borders UK branch. Borders UK parted ways with its parent company and the owner of Paperchase in 2007, and the last shop closed on December 22, 2010, Paperchase opened concessions in a number of HMV and Waterstones stores in the UK to replace the lost retail locations. The management and board of Primary Capital Partners LLP acquired the business in a management buyout in 2010.

By January 2013, the company had opened and operated approximately 130 retail stores, including both concessions and freestanding stores. Most of these were located in the UK, but some were in Dubai, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, or Germany.

Paperchase Heaven, one of the first flagship stores, was located on Tottenham Court Road because it was conveniently located, had a large floor space, and offered an extensive product selection. In March 2013, another shop opened on Buchanan Street in Glasgow, and in June of the same year, a second location opened at the White Rose Centre in Leeds.

Following the closure of most stores over the Christmas vacation due to COVID -19, Paperchase was on the verge of bankruptcy in January 2021. The company filed for a receiver to buy time while it looked for a way to save the business. At the time, 1,500 people were employed at the company’s 127 stores.

Later that month, it was announced that Primera Capital would acquire Paperchase through an intermediary company called Aspen Phoenix Newco Limited.

Paperchase’s Mission: Careful Craftsmanship

What makes Paperchase relevant today is the fact that its items are truly unique, being the result of the creative efforts of their skilled in-house designers as well as their buyers.

To ensure that their inventions give real pleasure, they put a lot of effort into the smallest things, from the drawings on the packaging to the way the water bottles feel when you hold them in your hand.

But because of the COVID -19 pandemic, the brand collapsed. That’s why it was bought out by Tesco.

Tesco Acquiring Paperchase: Specifics

After Paperchase slipped into insolvency, the supermarket chain acquired the company’s name and intellectual property. Under the deal, however, Tesco will not take over Paperchase’s 106 stores spread across the United Kingdom and Ireland. The future of Paperchase’s 820 employees is therefore uncertain.

The acquisition comes after a difficult period for Paperchase, which has seen the company struggle with rising costs and low sales. Jan Marchant, Tesco’s managing director of home and clothing, said the company was keen to offer the Paperchase brand at its sites in the UK. Administrators from insolvency firm Begbies Traynor are managing Paperchase’s operations until further notice. They said the company’s retail sites will remain in operation and continue business as usual.

Paperchase will continue to redeem gift cards, but the company’s joint administrators are urging customers to use them as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks from now.

Tuesday’s announcement that the company has gone into administration comes just a few months after an earlier acquisition.

In August, a group of investors led by Steve Curtis, who is also chairman of fashion company Jigsaw, bought Paperchase.

The greeting cards and gifts business said in early January that it needed additional funding and had turned to Begbies Traynor and PwC for advice on strategic alternatives, including selling the business. The company also said it had requested the advice back in January.

Begbies Traynor said it had not received any credible proposals for the company on a going concern basis, but said it had.

One of Paperchase’s lenders, Permira Debt Managers, rescued the company from receivership in January 2021 when it was in danger of going under.

In 2019, Primary Capital, Paperchase’s former owner, filed for voluntary arrangement (CVA) proceedings, a form of insolvency, to cut rents and close stores that were not bringing in enough money.

The company made the announcement at a time when it was adding more brands to its stores. The company announced that it would provide customers with more information as soon as possible.

Following the decision to close the remaining meat, fish, and deli counters in its larger stores, Tesco announced the purchase of Paperchase on the same day that it announced a job restructuring that would affect 2,100 jobs. The announcement came on the same day Tesco announced it would buy Paperchase. Many of the affected employees will have the option of moving to lower-paying positions.

What do you think?

Written by Verla Harvey

Verla Harvey is a passionate blogger and content creator with a mission to inspire, educate, and entertain people.

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

birmingham central mosque

5 Places To Visit In Birmingham: Central Mosque, Cadbury World & More

Weston McKennie

Weston McKennie: The American Midfield Maverick