Financial News

  • 4 December 2013, 7:19

140 Jobs At Risk As Stationer Osbornes Folds

Another high street retailer was on the verge of collapse on Tuesday when a 180-year-old stationer called in administrators amid intense competition from supermarket chains.

Sky News understands that Osbornes Stationers is poised to announce that FRP Advisory, a professional services firm, has been appointed to oversee the administration, which could threaten 140 jobs.

Osbornes, which operates 20 shops across the Midlands, including in Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham, is understood to have been loss-making for several years.

Like many high street businesses, it has been adversely affected by consumer shopping habits switching to the internet, as well as the buying muscle of supermarket giants.

Osbornes employees are understood to have been informed of the decision to call in administrators on Tuesday morning, with FRP said to be hopeful of identifying a buyer to save most, if not all, of the business.

The retailer was founded in 1832 by Edward Corn Osborne, who established a printing business on New Street in the centre of Birmingham.

It has undergone several changes of ownership since and was the subject of a buyout by several directors in 2008.

Osbornes is the latest retailer to succumb to the continuing challenges affecting many regionally-based businesses, even as the overall economic picture improves.

National chains which have fallen into administration in recent months include Blockbuster, the DVD rental business, while Tie Rack recently announced a plan to close the vast majority of its remaining UK stores.

An FRP spokesman declined to comment.