Office Outlet, formerly Staples, is to sublet retail space within 35 of its 101 UK stores. This follows restructuring firm Hilco Capital buying the UK part of Staples late last year.
As Hilco look to implement its strategy for Office Outlet, 285,500 sq. foot of space will be available to other retailers via subletting. The largest space available, 16,553 sq. foot, is situated at the Nelson Industrial Estate in Merton, South London.
Fourteen other locations provide 10,000 sq. foot at each site:
- Milton Keynes
- West Bromwich
In addition, there are also smaller spaces at Acton, Edinburgh and Nottingham.
A spokesman for Office Outlet comments:
“Office Outlet can confirm that certain parts of 35 stores are due to be sub-let. The business will be constantly reviewing its portfolio of stores to ensure the maximum amount of footfall.”
Office Outlet Sublet to Consolidate Falling Sales
Hilco hopes the Office Outlet sublet scheme will go some way to turn the fortunes of the struggling brand around. In its most recent financial accounts, trading as Staples, to the end of January 2016, sales fell by nearly 10% to £198.1 million.
Concessions within existing retail spaces is common in UK retail. Sainsbury’s has Argos outlets in around 30 of its stores prior the companies merging in 2016. Also, Tesco has 14 Arcadia fashion concessions within its stores.
There is currently much speculation about the future of Office Outlet. It does not have an online presence as this part of the Staples business was retained by its former owner. Therefore, Office Outlet may become more discount focused in order to compete more effectively with its online competitors including Amazon.