Exclusive: Job losses loom at Liverpool’s Love2shop

Founded by Mersey business tycoon Peter Johnson, Christmas savings and hampers venture Park Group later became Love2shop – now it faces job losses after an £83m takeover. Tony McDonough reports

20 Chapel Street
Lovee2shop is based at 20 Chapel Street in Liverpool city centre


Liverpool corporate rewards and Christmas savings business Love2shop is to reduce its local workforce following an £83m takeover by Paypoint.

Love2shop, which can trace its origins back to a family butchers shop in Birkenhead, employs around 270 staff at 20 Chapel Street in Liverpool city centre. Paypoint has now entered a consultation period with a number of employees.

Paypoint, which completed its takeover of the business in February 2023, says it is unable to say how many people would leave, or from which departments, until the consultation period concludes at the end of April.

In a statement to LBN the company said: “As part of our continued focus on realising growth ambitions, we undertook a thorough review to ensure that the PayPoint Group has the appropriate organisational structure and cost base to deliver on our plans.

“We have now concluded that review and opportunities have been identified to simplify our structure, enhance cross-company collaboration and reduce our cost base.

“We have begun consulting with colleagues about these proposals and expect this process to conclude by the end of April 2024. Until then, we can’t comment on any specifics of which roles are impacted.”

In the 1960s Peter Johnson, who died aged 84 in January this year, started a Christmas Savings Club out of his family butchers business in Birkenhead. It later became Park Group offering Christmas hampers and savings to people across the UK.

Mr Johnson was a well-known figure in Merseyside and, at various points, was the owner of both Everton and Tranmere Rovers football clubs. His name lives on through the Johnson Foundation which has raised more than £10m for charitable causes.

He eventually sold Park Group, which was listed on the stock exchange, after which it was rebranded as Appreciate Group. It ended the Christmas hampers operation in late 2020 but still offers Christmas savings.


Appreciate Group offers the Love2shop multi-retailer voucher


However, its core business is now focused on the popular Love2shop gift voucher and corporate rewards. In 2020 its staff left their longtime Birkenhead home and set up base in Liverpool.

Following the takeover by Paypoint, the Appreciate name was pushed into the background and Love2shop became the main brand of the business.

PayPoint offers multiple outlets across the UK for people wanting to pay their domestic bills and purchases credit for pre-payment energy meters.

It operates out of around 28,000 retailers, usually small newsagents or convenience stores. In 2021 it struck a deal with Appreciate to accept electronic gift vouchers across its retail network.

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