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In the October of 1893, a young Henry Ryman flipped over the ‘Open’ sign to his brand new shop on Great Portland Street, London. Ryman Stationery was officially born. From then to now, we’ve had over 120 years’ experience in providing essential stationery items, and expert product knowledge.
Over the years, we’ve grown, developed and extended our offering to provide the very best in stationery, office supplies, technology and office furniture. And that ‘Open’ sign that Henry turned over all those years ago is now permanently in place with our fast and helpful website.
With over 200 stores and our online shop, our business accounts and special discounts for students, our unrivalled product knowledge, range and service, and our commitment to giving you the very best products, we’re still just as passionate about stationery as Henry was on that very first day. You can rely on Ryman.
Positive like-for-like sales delivered by the Theo Paphitis Retail Group for the Christmas 2017 trading period, being 6 weeks to 24 December:
Growth of 1.7%; delivered through Ryman at 4.8%, Robert Dyas at 2% and Boux Avenue at -2.8%.
“As anticipated and reported, the Christmas trading period as has been the case for most of this year, was ‘hard work’ for many retailers. In all my years I have never seen it so hard and unforgiving where the shopper will punish you if you take your eye off the ball. I am therefore very pleased that we were able to deliver growth as a Group.
The dynamics were different for us again this year; as expected we saw further strong growth online across all our key brands, however, it was our heritage brands, Ryman and Robert Dyas, that managed to put in the strongest performances through stores. We found that footfall in our stores operating in the key regional shopping centres was weaker than expected, impacting Boux more than the other brands whilst also at the same time experiencing some supply chain difficulties which have now been rectified and stock levels are returning to normal. The lack of footfall did lead to a very competitive market and I am pleased that our margins were only fractionally below last year. Inventory was purchased and managed tightly given our outlook on the market at the start of the year.
It has now become clear that governmental thinking around changes to business legislation, policy and taxation of revenues especially in the UK, is lagging well behind the development of the retail sector globally, which is creating more uncertainty and risk for retailers and thus the economy. With very little interest shown by Government in this key economic pillar, it really does feel like retail as we know it is creeping closer and closer towards the precipice. We continue to watch this space carefully but are not confident of improvements and see it as the biggest risk to our High Street and physical shops.
Online is now the key to most retailers’ success or otherwise, thus I am pleased that our continued investment in this channel was rewarded with further growth: not only in Boux Avenue, as has been the case in recent years, but this year also in Ryman and Robert Dyas. We also experienced strong performances through our wholesaling activities, which is the latest channel in Boux’s development. In addition the period saw our latest franchise store for Boux Avenue open in Prague.
It was clear to us that Black Friday was once again eagerly awaited by our customers and is now an established purchasing window in their psyche, resulting in many records being achieved that week as customers who had postponed purchases in anticipation of discounts opened their purses and wallets. I was particularly pleased that we were able to deliver this massive spike in sales, whilst meeting the expectations of our customers. This was especially the case for Boux which saw Black Friday come shortly after commissioning a newly built 70,000 sq.ft. warehouse and fulfilment facility in Crewe.
It is expected that the headwinds for retailers will continue given the economic and political environment we operate in. Despite this, there are and have always been opportunities for retailers that remain relevant and we intend to continue to work hard to achieve continued success. We are cautious, but our investment in the Group is increasing, particularly to support the areas where we see future growth.”
Highlights - Last Financial Year End;
Boux Avenue Limited
For further Ryman, Robert Dyas or Boux Avenue enquiries please contact:
Group Head of PR, Theo Paphitis Retail Group
Ryman is famous for our customer service, and colleagues in our nationwide network are committed to delivering the best customer experience to everyone who visits our specialist stationery stores. We achieve this by hiring people who are passionate about retail and care about our customers, by providing comprehensive training and development programmes, and by recognising and rewarding great performance.
We are always keen to hear about ways we can improve. That’s why we encourage all our customers – and employees – to come up with ideas on how we can do things better, and what new things we should be doing.
We hope you enjoy your online experience with Ryman.co.uk and if you have any questions, please contact Customer services.
As well as being the nation’s high street stationery specialist, many Ryman stores offer additional business services to customers. For example, our services include:
Copy & Print Services – All stores offer in-store print & copy services, and access to our in-house Print facilities to order a wide range of print products. Selected stores can print large format (posters, roller banners and window vinyls) and business cards in-store. All stores can order large format print for delivery.
Document Binding – All stores offer comb binding with selected stores also offering Wire, Click, Thermal & Hardback binding. Some stores produce hardback foiled student dissertations and theses. All stores can order dissertations and theses for delivery.
Laminating – All stores offer Laminating in store up to A3 size.
Fax service – All stores offer an international faxing service
Scanning – All stores offer a scanning service up to A3 size. Selected stores can also scan to email.
Photo booth – Selected stores have a photo booth in store to take your I.D photo’s.
Western Union Money Transfer – We also offer Western Union money transfer services in a selection of stores, allowing customers to send money across the globe in minutes.
For more information about our Business Services please visit SERVICES
All stores allow customers to order products for home delivery, which is particularly useful in the case of purchasing heavy items like chairs, desks, filing cabinets and the like. Just ask about this at any Ryman till.
We have been working with DHL since 2010, and have a DHL Service Point at many stores, in order to offer customers a courier service allowing customers to send parcels securely around the world or within the UK.
There are six Ryman stores that also have a Post Office.
We offer a 10% discount for Unidays members. Students who are not Unidays members, can still receive 10% discount in store by showing their student ID.
We make sure the company’s investment in training ensures that our colleagues in the stores have an in-depth knowledge of their product range.
We offer special pre-paid gift cards at various prices, allowing your friends and family to choose their own gifts!
Ryman has a great track record in supporting good causes and has raised £2.5m for Comic Relief/ Sport Relief! Employee fundraising is encouraged at all levels.
We are also proud sponsors of the Isthmian Football League, called the Ryman League. The clubs have been highly supportive of the company’s charity fundraising, including playing with red footballs in support of the Red Nose Day and Sport Relief!
Our Chairman, Theo Paphitis, believes that the most important people in our business are our colleagues who serve our customers. Theo emphasises that people should look forward to coming to work and feel valued and listened to. He is a strong advocate of investing in colleague training, development and apprenticeships.
We believe in training and developing our colleagues to empower them to fulfil their potential. Our extensive training programmes include a comprehensive induction programme to welcome new colleagues into the Ryman family, customer service, product knowledge and sales training, and a first class management development programme. We pride ourselves on promoting from within and retaining our best people, giving colleagues the resources to help them shine and progress.
We offer Apprenticeships at Level 2 in Retail Skills and at Level 3 in Management. Both programmes provide an externally recognised qualification and are supported by our in house Learning and Development Department and our external training partner, Fareport Training. We’re very proud that our Apprenticeship Programme was Highly Commended in the 2016 National Apprenticeships Awards.
All our colleagues participate in incentive schemes which allow them to share in the success of our business, and our development programmes encourage people to stay with us and build a career. In addition we offer an amazing colleague discount scheme across all Theo’s retail businesses.
We’re proud that our colleagues stay with us for a long time –something that is very unusual within the competitive retail industry. We believe that this, and colleague engagement of 79%, is a sign that our colleagues enjoy working here and feel that we recognise their contribution and support their development.
Product quality is important to Ryman and the company makes sure that all suppliers comply with the code of ethical trading (The Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code) and continues to monitor these standards on a regular basis. Like all forward-thinking companies, Ryman aims to minimise its carbon emissions and has put plans in place to achieve this important aim. (Please see Ryman and the Environment)