1. ITV Report

Staples to disappear from UK high street after buyout

Staples employs around 1,100 staff across 106 stores in Britain. Credit: Katie Collins / PA Wire

Office stationery brand Staples is to disappear from the UK high street - putting 1,100 staff at risk.

The US owner has sold the struggling UK arm of the business, which operates 106 stores in Britain, to restructuring specialist Hilco for a "nominal sum".

Hilco said it would phase out the Staples brand in the UK over the coming months but it did not disclose its plans for the stores and the staff.

Agreeing to sell our UK retail business to Hilco aligns with our go-forward strategy of focusing on our North American and mid-market business, and is a meaningful step in that process.

– Shira Goodman, CEO and President of Staples

According to its most recent accounts, Staples' UK retail operations reported pre-tax losses of £5 million for the year to the end of January 2015, narrowed from losses of £7.1 million a year earlier.

But its online arm and business-to-business division in the UK have been performing better than the stores.

Paul McGowan, of Hilco Capital, said: "While retail in the UK has been challenged recently, a team led by retail veteran Alan Gaynor will work alongside the existing management team to build a plan for success for the business."

Hilco Capital owns a number of retailers in the UK, including music chain HMV.