A HOMEWARE retailer with a store in Worcester has been placed into administration after the business was "hit hard" by the uncertain economic climate and the growth of online trade.

Paul Simon (London) Limited, which has a a store at Unit 6, Blackpole Retail Park, Blackpole Road, Worcester, has been handed over to administrators, a statement confirmed today (Wednesday) with Deloitte appointed as administrator while a buyer is sought.

The statement read: "Lee Manning and Nick Edwards of Deloitte, the business advisory firm, have been appointed as administrators today to Paul Simon (London) Limited (“Paul Simon”), a homeware retailer specialising in furniture, curtains and carpets. The administrators will continue to trade Paul Simon while seeking a buyer for all or parts of the business as a going concern.

"Paul Simon headquartered in Barking, operates from 51 leasehold retail stores, largely in the South and South East, and an online platform, employing approximately 550 staff. These sites are primarily situated in out of town retail parks."

Lee Manning, Deloitte partner, said: “We are working closely with key stakeholders, customers and employees to ensure the business has the best possible platform to secure a sale, preserve jobs and generate as much value as possible for all creditors.

“Like many other retailers, Paul Simon has been hit hard by the uncertain economic environment. In addition, its core business has been undermined by the increasing importance of online sales causing an erosion of margins. This was compounded by the impact of the recent widespread flooding which restricted many customers’ access to several stores. These issues made an element of the store portfolio unprofitable and led to a projected imminent cashflow deficiency resulting in the Administration appointment.”