Bureau plans assault on stationery market

A London stationery store is embarking on an ambitious three-year expansion programme in a bid to capture 10 per cent of the £1.5bn UK stationery market.

The expansion could create opportunities for packaging design groups.

Bureau started trading in December 1995, with an identity created by Rodney Fitch Co. Store interiors were developed in-house.

Currently operating only in London’s West End, Bureau is opening five more shops over the coming months, and 100 outlets in total within three years. The store has annual sales of £1m and has achieved sales growth of 70 per cent over the past two years.

“There will be four new shops in the West End and City and another in the South East by the end of this year,” says managing director Mark Fitzgibbon.

“We laid the shop out the way we would want to shop,” explains co-founder and marketing director Jo Irons of the format. “People appreciate space to move around.

“It depends on what sites are available, but the new shops will be of similar size. We are looking to replicate what we are doing here,” she adds.

Fitzgibbon says plans include opening stores outside the South East in cities such as Manchester and Leeds. “We want to be aggressive with our roll-out and nothing would give us greater pleasure than being nationwide.”

A third of the store’s product range is imported from Europe and there are a couple of Bureau’s own-brand products. But Irons says: “Ultimately, we would want to brand as much as possible.”

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