“There was no need to place a $ 7,000 Father’s Day order – those cards didn’t go on the shelf in mid-February,” said Ms. Krowinski of Sapling Press.
Ms. Park said the orders were unrelated to the company’s bankruptcy. Paper Source has been trying to revive its inventory for months, largely because it needs to stock around 27 new locations that it had recently acquired for the pandemic through the bankruptcy of Papyrus, its former rival. “We’ve been trying to get our inventory of greeting cards into a healthy position since last October when it was clear we were really low on inventory,” she said.
But the move added to the confusion among sellers. “The fact that January came and brands were starting to get these big deals, they were happy and excited that they thought this was great, things are back on the up and then it wasn’t,” said Katie Hunt, one Business coach who works with stationery vendors through her company Proof to Product. “The optics are bad.”
Privately owned for years, Paper Source is a relatively small retailer but a giant among stationery makers, a friendly industry with regular trade shows and even “paper warehouses” where aspiring card makers network and learn how to import their wares Bookstores and other chains like Nordstrom. Due to its size, Paper Source can set concessions such as longer payment terms. The company has even requested loans of up to $ 250 from vendors to help build new businesses, according to emails from the New York Times.
Paper Source employs approximately 1,700 people, most of whom work hourly, and had gross sales of $ 104 million last year, up from $ 153 million in 2019.
As with many retailers, Paper Source sales declined over the past year as records reported stoppages, capacity constraints, and the “wave of canceled weddings.” It closed stores, eliminated jobs, and lowered executive pay. The company estimates that 30 percent of its formerly loyal shoppers have not visited a store or made purchases on its website since the pandemic began.