A sad piece of news emerged yesterday.  As many of you will already know, Bureau Direct have now ceased trading.  Always a good source for stationary, inks, and to a lesser extent, pens, they will be missed.  Here is the news in their own words from their final Wednesday newsletter.  From Dominic:

“As of now we have ceased trading. Sadly the difficulties of surviving in these turbulent times has claimed another retail victim, one that will never hit the headlines or be discussed on Newsnight, but maybe should because so many similar stories will occur and affect so many people but never get heard.

So that’s 23 years of Bureau, almost to the day, 15 of them spent online. That’s a lifetime for many. As always the ride has had its ups and downs, but what I would like to say is a personal goodbye to all Stationery Wednesday readers. Over the years I have had so many nice replies that it has eased the stress of writing an original email each week. Stationery Wednesday often came after Stressful Tuesday!

The other great pleasure over the years has been the staff who have worked here. It really has been like an extended family and it was especially sad saying goodbye to Des, Monica and Faisal at the end. Days you hope you won’t repeat. But despite everything there has been an overwhelming sense of warmth towards us, the business and what we tried to do from the staff, customers and suppliers. So thank you. I’m sorry it didn’t work out in the end.”

and from Jo:

“It is hard to put into writing how it feels after 23 years to have to walk away from Bureau: It has been our life after all. But, along with all the other retail casualties of recent times, we have been sunk by the uncertainty and the discounting that seems to stalk the high street – online is not immune either.

We have tried so hard this year to hang on, hoping it would get better, but despite the support of so many of you it just got harder. I can only say it leaves me quite broken and I am in tears as I write but I really do want to thank you all.

Some of you we talked to on the phone, some we chatted to on email, some we only knew by the names that popped up so regularly on the orders. But we felt we knew you all. In the end the real pleasure of Bureau was not really the stationery but the fantastic staff team, both past and present and all of you – ever loyal, often funny and always with an eye for a nice pen or notepad.”

I know we all wish them and their staff well.