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Carole Middleton’s party business hires advisers for potential sale

Kate Middleton’s mum has faced criticism after following in the footsteps of Harry and Meghan by going Stateside., The Princess of Wales’ mother - Carole Middleton - is trying to crack America with her Party Pieces company worth an estimated £30million., The 67-year-old businesswoman’s products will be sold in 39 Saker ShopRite stores across the pond., But they are only in the state of New Jersey and one fan said Americans have never heard of the shops., Another accused Carole of cashing in on her royal connection., The Party Pieces Collection available in the US includes plates, cups, napkins, hats and decorations., Carole - who set up the company in 1987 - visited some of the Saker ShopRite stores to see her goods on the shelves., She walked down the aisles emblazoned with huge photographs of her wearing a double denim outfit., It comes after Harry and Meghan stepped back from royal life in January 2020 and moved to America., The switch has seen the deterioration of the relationship between Harry and his brother William - Carole’s son-in-law., But Carole - who runs the business from close to their home in Bucklebury, Berks - has received some criticism over the venture. - Party Pieces

An online party decorations retailer owned by Carole Middleton, the Princess of Wales's mother, has hired advisers for a potential sale of the business as it struggles with dwindling sales.

Party Pieces, which was founded by Carole Middleton, has appointed Interpath to advise on its strategic options, which could include a possible sale or funding from an outside investor.

It comes after reports that the company, which is owned by Mrs Middleton and her husband Michael, became embroiled in a row with suppliers and suffered a dip in sales over the crucial Christmas period.

The retailer struggled as cost-of-living pressures hit households and Royal Mail strikes caused delays to deliveries, the Daily Mail reported. Mrs Middleton was also reported to be in a dispute with suppliers over attempts to extend payment terms to 90 days from the usual 30 days.

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Party Pieces declined to comment at the time.

Mrs Middleton started the business in 1987 from her kitchen table when she was looking for inspiration for her daughter Kate's fifth birthday party. According to a biography about the Princess of Wales, Mrs Middleton came up with the idea for the retailer after struggling to find affordable gifts for children’s parties. The company sells party hats, balloons, plates and other decorations.

It expanded to the US last year in a deal with the supermarket Saker ShopRite.

According to the company’s most recent accounts, it posted a £285,500 loss in 2021 which it attributed to expansion in the US, Europe and the Middle East as well as an ongoing hit from Covid-19 restrictions, which meant fewer people were planning parties. It reported an 18pc rise in retail sales compared with a year earlier.

A spokesman for Party Pieces said: “We are working with our advisers to secure additional investment which will help support the business as we look to embark on the next phase of our growth plan.”