- Stationery retailer Papyrus is working to win rent concessions from landlords and could close some stores, according to an emailed Debtwire report. The retailer's owner, Schurman Retail Group, did not immediately respond to Retail Dive's request for comment.
- The retailer, which last said on its website it had more than 260 stores, has hired A&G Realty as it looks to negotiate with its landlords, according to Debtwire.
- The news service reported that Papyrus, "joins a host of financially strained brick-and-mortar retailers looking to renegotiate store leases as online competition eats away at their earnings."
Papyrus was founded in 1950, in a kitchen, and opened its first store in 1973. Its founders, Marcel and Margrit Schurman, "had a vision for products of uncompromising quality which provided the starting point from which genuine personal connections are made," according to the brand.
Led by Dominique Schurman, Schurman Retail positions itself as a leading retailer of gift and "personal expression" products, with a heavy emphasis on good, old-fashioned paper. Along with Papyrus, Schurman Retail is also home to the Carlton Cards, Paper Thread and American Greetings banners.
The company acquired the American Greetings and Carlton retail banners from American Greetings Corporation for $6 million plus equity in 2009, which was part of a deal that also entailed Schurman to sell its wholesale business to American Greetings. American Greetings Corporation — which last year was acquired by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice — today makes Papyrus and the other brands that fill Schurman's retail stores.
Both specialty retail as a whole along with Schurman's product specialty face numerous challenges. Mall traffic declines have hurt a wide cross-section of specialty retailers that have based their business on the mall.
The number of cards sent through the mail has declined over time. As one sign of the times, the number of Hallmark Gold Crown stores nearly halved over the course of a decade, with many blaming the rise of digital communication and e-cards. Another mall-based gift specialist, Things Remembered, filed for bankruptcy in January and closed a majority of the stores it operated at the time.