Office Outlet markets space in 35 stores

Office Outlet - the stationer formerly known as Staples - is looking for other retailers to take space in a third of its shops in a bid to restore its financial health.

It has appointed agents at GVA and Harvey Spack Field to find occupiers for 35 spaces of between 5,000 sq ft and 16,553 sq ft across its portfolio, which is concentrated on out-of-town retail parks.

The move will bring a total of 285,500 sq ft of retail floorspace to the market.

The largest space is on the Nelson Industrial Estate in Merton, south London, where 16,553 sq ft is on offer.

There are also 14 chunks of 10,000 sq ft each available located in Cardiff, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Carlisle, Derby, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Milton Keynes, Plymouth, Poole, Swindon, Telford, Truro and West Bromwich. Smaller spaces are on offer in locations including Acton, Edinburgh and Nottingham.

“Office Outlet can confirm that certain parts of 35 stores are due to be sub-let,” an Office Outlet spokesperson said. “The business will be constantly reviewing its portfolioof stores to ensure the maximum amount of footfall.”

2016 buy by Hilco

Staples was rebranded as Office Outlet at the beginning of this year after being bought for a nominal sum by restructuring specialist Hilco Capital in 2016.

Consolidating Office Outlet’s 101-store estate is likely to form a key plank in Hilco’s strategy for turning around the fortunes of the retailer, which has suffered falling sales and persistent losses in recent years.

The retailer’s most recent UK accounts for the year to the end of January 2016 showed that sales fell by almost 10% to £198.1m.

It has been speculated that Hilco could also adopt a more discount-focused model for the office supplies chain to compete with online retailers.

Office Outlet does not currently have an online presence as that part of the Staples business was retained by its former owner.

Other retailers that have shared space in stores include Sainsbury’s, which opened Argos outlets in around 30 of its stores prior to the two companies merging in late 2016, and Tesco, which has launched 14 concessions of Arcadia fashion brands within its supermarkets in recent months.

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