Chancerealm

Lingerie and stationery is not an obvious business combination, but it is one that works for Theo Paphitis of Chancerealm. Serial entrepreneur Paphtitis, who is also chairman of Millwall FC and the lingerie chain La Senza, took a gamble when he founded his group after buying ailing high street stationer Ryman and ladies underwear retailer Contessa from the receiver. “Both companies were viable. But they were part of groups that had either run them down or tried to over-expand,” says marketing director Malcolm Cooke. Both Ryman and Contessa have now been turned around, a feat Cooke attributes to economies of scale and tight cost control. The 93 Ryman stores, which make up around two-thirds of Middlesex-based Chancerealm’s turnover, together with 79 Contessa outlets have helped drive up profits 30% a year, from £1.8m in 1997 to £4m in 2000, when the company had sales of £58.5m.

This profile reflects the company at time of publication and does not reflect any changes that may have subsequently occurred. Fast Track and its sponsors do not endorse, guarantee or recommend investment in any of the companies.

Company details
Year2001
Rank73
CompanyChancerealm
ActivityStationery retailer
LocationMiddlesex
Annual profit growth30.15%
Latest profits £000s4,015
Latest sales £000s58,533
Staff1,298
Founded1995
Websitewww.ryman.co.uk

If applicable:

* supplied by company † annualised figure