Carole Middleton’s party business hires advisers for potential sale
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.
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.”