2021: Well-known OP industry veteran Peter Birks has taken over the reins at Ryman as CEO, in what is a new position at the high street retailer. Responsible for all day-to-day operations, he will report directly to Kypros Kyprianou.
This frees up Kyprianou to concentrate on his Group CEO role going forward, while Birks will focus on the digital side of the business, in conjunction with the 200 or so stores, to further grow the brand in key markets and channels.
Prior to feeling the full impact of the COVID pandemic, Ryman had delivered a resilient performance. FY2020 sales to the end of March 2020 were £123.4 million ($170 million), with EBITDA of £7.8 million, in line with 2019. Since then, it has endured two extended periods of store closures as part of the UK government’s lockdown restrictions, but has reported strong online sales in both the B2B and B2C channels.
In 2020, the stationery brand strengthened its e-commerce focus and shifted attention to responding to the demand in working from home and homeschooling, in particular, through the furniture, ink and print categories. It also offers many services that a modern omnichannel operator typically provides – an online offering, click-and-collect service, and in-store third party services such as DHL and Western Union, which are a growing part of the business.
Ryman forms part of the Theo Paphitis Retail Group (TPRG) – encompassing Ryman, Robert Dyas, Boux Avenue and London Graphic Centre – which has a combined total of over 300 stores, five e-commerce sites, and 4,000 employees, serving around 22.5 million customers a year.