Ryman is a stationery retailer that has been owned by retail entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis since 1995. It is one of four retail businesses owned by Paphitis, which all share some ecommerce and IT resources.

Ryman was the worst affected of the Theo Paphitis Retail Group of companies during the pandemic given its focus on small businesses and its city centre and university  locations. Total sales slumped 40.9% to £73.0m in the year to end-March 2021 (FY2020), despite a 111% surge in online sales, while the retailer plunged into the red for the first time under Theo Paphitis’ ownership.

The digital business has benefited from the development of its latest ecommerce platform over the past few years, completed in 2019.

New CEO Peter Birks will focus on the digital side of the business in synergy with the 200-strong store network in his bid to turn the business around from 2021. 


Innovation rating: 1.5






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