Partners and Stationery Box are to disappear from the high street, as Theo Paphitis’s Chancerealm converts the stores to its Ryman brand.
Ryman managing director Malcolm Cooke said the multi-million pound conversion programme will give the retailer a single brand on 325 UK stationery stores.
Ryman has completed the conversion of two Partners’ stores already and aims to complete the rebranding by the end of May.
The fascia of the converted stores, and future Ryman outlets, will have a subtly different fascia with a creamy background.
Cooke said he wants to convert all Ryman stores to the new fascia eventually, but he declined to provide a timeframe.
About 40 per cent of the products sold in Ryman and Partners are own-label. “We will be doing a certain amount of brand rationalisation,” said Cooke.
Cooke hopes to achieve cost savings, such as in warehouse operations, but added: “We have not done this from a cost savings point of view. We have done this to make Ryman a national brand, as it is primarily in the south of England.”
Partners is largely concentrated in the Northwest and midlands, while Stationery Box has stores in Scotland.
Meanwhile, Ryman has app-ointed James Mercer as its first dedicated marketing director.
Chancerealm chairman Paphitis, who stars in BBC TV series Dragons’ Den, bought the Stationery Box brand and 56 stores in a pre-administration deal earlier this year. It is understood he paid a knock-down £3 million for the troubled brand.
Cooke said that Stationery Box had been turned around and had posted like-for-likes sales up 11 per cent over the past four weeks, albeit against weak comparables last year.
Before buying Stationery Box, Chancerealm posted total sales up 2 per cent to £93 million for the year to April 1, 2006.