Could we be on course to see the first retail stock market float of 2017? 

Nick Wood’s arrival at Paperchase as non-executive chairman, announced today, has reignited rumours a float is on the cards. 

Speculation has been swirling for some months that Paperchase’s private-equity US owner, Primary Capital, is planning to take the chain public.

Wood’s appointment adds fuel to this fire.

In his most recent role as Pets at Home chief executive, the industry veteran oversaw the specialist retailer’s 2014 float. Will the Cambridge engineering graduate help Paperchase gear up for such a move?

Or, like Mountain Warehouse last year, will Primary Capital be deterred by Brexit uncertainty?

Elsewhere today, Wine Rack and Bargain Booze owner Conviviality revealed it is back in the black in its first-half, despite a fall in like-for-likes.

Value department store The Original Factory reported strong Christmas sales and John Lewis is changing its returns policy.

Quote of the day

”I feel there is a real opportunity for growth as Paperchase is still small, and I felt I could help them with the strategic challenge.”

– Nick Wood on taking the chairman role at Paperchase

Today in numbers


The number of days John Lewis customers will have to return items from Wednesday, down from 90 days


The rise in like-for-likes at Conviviality’s Wine Rack and Bargain Booze fascias in the six weeks to January 1

James Wilmore, News Editor