Theo Paphitis, owner of the Theo Paphitis Retail Group, which comprises Ryman, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue, was in town on Friday 2 November to open the brand new King’s Road branch of Ryman in London.
The store opening marks the 125th year of business for Ryman, which Henry J Ryman started up in Great Portland Street, London, in 1893.
In an interview with Stationery Matters, Theo Paphitis shared his insights on the current stationery industry. We asked him how Ryman is succeeding in bucking the trend by opening stores rather than closing them.
He told us: “I think it’s because we’ve remained relevant to our customer base. We’re very much a services-oriented retailer these days. We’ve got print shops in our Ryman stores, we’ve got DHL, we’ve got Western Union, we’ve got gifts and stationery. We’re a service-driven business.
“As for stores disappearing from the high street, we’re seeing the growth of e-commerce businesses, but we’re there physically to serve our customers with what they want today. And over the 125 years we’ve evolved to remain relevant, and without that relevance we wouldn’t exist.”
Commenting directly on the new King’s Road branch, he continued: “I’m delighted to officially open the Ryman store on the King’s Road. We’re a high-street business supported by a fantastic online service and as a community-led retailer, this is a perfect location.
“It’s been a pleasure to hear from our customers, in person, just how much they value Ryman, and that’s all about remaining relevant and accessible to our customers. The new store is a credit to our colleagues who’ve done a fantastic job.”
The new store is part of 200-plus Ryman stores across the UK.
Read Stationery Matters’ full interview with Theo Paphitis in our brand new Ask The Retailer series, which will appear in the next newsletter on 15 November.