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Background

In May 2016, international office supplies retailer Staples, Inc. announced its intention to focus on its North American business and explore strategic alternatives for its European operations. Hilco Capital acquired the company’s UK bricks-and-mortar retail business in November that year.

The tight integration of the acquired business unit with the former parent company’s systems, supply chain and human resources, together with a demanding TSA period, presented Hilco’s team with an extremely complex corporate carve out in a challenging time frame.

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Hilco Capital’s role

  • Provided working capital facilities
  • Separated 183 group IT systems in less than five months
  • Rebranded the 100-store estate from Staples to Office Outlet within two months
  • Re-sourced two thirds of the total product range which was formerly sourced by Staples Europe
  • Introduced new, complementary product categories
  • Reviewed store hours, filled vacancies and implemented staff training programmes
  • Right-sized store portfolio through downsizing, relocation and the introduction of concession partners
  • Regeared leases and exited loss making stores
  • Refocused marketing mix

 


Results

  • Business successfully extracted from parent organisation and established as a self sufficient, standalone company within the terms and period of the TSA
  • Business operating fully on its own IT infrastructure
  • New systems providing enhanced management information and reporting
  • Focus on training and feedback from ongoing mystery shopper programme continually improving customer service levels in-store
  • Property overheads reduced
  • Distribution costs reduced through operational efficiencies and headcount reductions
  • Ecommerce and B2B accounts launched in early 2017
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