Manufacturer James Cropper to shut Paper Mill Shops

Cumbria-based specialist paper manufacturer James Cropper is to close its retail division, The Paper Mill Shop.

The move puts the jobs of about 100 staff at risk across the UK. The 15 outlets will shut by 31 March.

The closure of the company's £5.5m-turnover retail subsidiary follows "four years of losses".

James Cropper Plc was established in 1845 and The Paper Mill Shop was set up in 1999.

James Cropper chief executive Alun Lewis said the paper craft market had grown strongly until 2005 but the growth had slowed and was now in decline.

The recession had also affected the market, he said.

He said the result of reducing sales had been four years of losses.

The company's internet business, papermilldirect, will carry on trading.

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