Print Industry News: print trade shows pulled until 2021; problems for print trade press; magazine sales plunge during Covid-19; and Latimer Trend workers’ redundancy victory

Print Industry News: print trade shows pulled until 2021; problems for print trade press; magazine sales plunge during Covid-19; and Latimer Trend workers’ redundancy victory

With Print Monthly magazine currently online only, the Print Show, Fespa and Drupa pulled until next year and a raft of printing companies going to the wall it is fair to say Covid-19 has had a disproportionate effect on the industry here and abroad.

Trade shows put back

Writing on the Print Show’s website the director Chris Davies said: “We have made the difficult decision to postpone The Print Show 2020 and The Sign Show 2020 until next year, due to the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in the UK. The safety of exhibitors and visitors is our number one priority and though this was not an easy choice, we believe it to be the right course of action. However, we are delighted to confirm that The Print Show and The Sign Show will both take place in 2021. The shows will run from September 28th to 30th at the NEC in Birmingham and we will publish further updates as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile Drupa have moved their show back a year in Germany and Fespa has shifted their exhibition to the Netherlands next spring. Print Week reported: “Fespa has now effectively cancelled its 2020 event and brought forward the 2021 show, which had initially been penciled in for Munich in May 2021, avoiding a clash with next year’s rescheduled Drupa in Dusseldorf. The Fespa four-day 2021 Global Print Expo, which is co-located with European Sign Expo and Sportswear Pro, will now take place at the RAI Exhibition Centre in Amsterdam on 9-12 March.”

Rob Fletcher has been holding the fort for Print Monthly

No show magazine and video news

Print Week published their July issue of the trade journal while the publication struggles to deal with the pandemic’s effects on the industry. Meanwhile rival publication Print Monthly has gone on line for the time being and the operation behind it have temporarily stopped their weekly video news for printers while most staff are furloughed. Consulting editor Rob Fletcher however has continued to load up stories to the website including the news that Zecher, an international provider of anilox roller solutions, has become the latest company to announce that it won’t be turning up to Drupa. Sadly a sign of our times as all trade shows are being hit. See our feature at

Latimer Trend workers in compensation battle

Writing for Print Week Darryl Danielli highlighted a success for workers laid off by the Plymouth print outfit Latimer Trend when the company went bust.

He wrote: “Close to 50 former employees of Latimer Trend & Company, which collapsed just under a year ago, have won their ‘failure to consult’ compensation claims and their lawyer has warned directors to ensure they properly consult with staff over redundancies. The judgement, which was issued by the Plymouth Employment Tribunal last week, means the 47 staff that made a claim are each in line for additional payments of up to £4,304.”

He continued: “Presiding judge NJ Walker issued the judgement ‘by consent’, but the employees' solicitor, Nuala Toner, managing director of employment specialist Nualaw, said that initially the administrators were going to defend, but agreed to a judgment by consent ‘after we pointed out that the defence was not particularly strong.’”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said that companies often claim ‘special circumstances defense’ when insolvency is involved. He said: “This case shows directors who often walk away with their salaries must at the very least inform staff of a firm’s demise as they can be held liable.”

Print Week reported that following the agreement, the former employees dropped various other claims against the company including some for unfair and constructive dismissal. They said a judgement by consent is where all the parties agree the terms in which a judgment should be given.

One of the comments posted on Print Week’s site wrote: “Failure to consult employees is a schoolboy error and company directors should know better. This often can be an expensive error and one employment judges at tribunal come down hard on.”

Gareth Ward

Print Business reports on poor magazine sales

Writing for the trade publication Print Business Gareth ward said: “Covid-19 has accelerated declines in magazine circulations, according to ABC figures for the first six months of the year. Some publishers are hoping for a bounce back as lockdown restrictions end and consumers are able to buy publications from newsagents as part of their daily ritual, but others are less sure. The last few months have been marked by high profile closures on both sides of the Atlantic: for example Q in the UK and O, the Oprah Winfrey magazine in the US.

“Magazines across the board have lost readers, from television listing titles to women’s interest and lifestyle. The only exceptions are in food and gardening, perhaps a reflection of activities that have been possible during lockdown. BBC's Gardeners’ World increased sales 8% to 221,422 copies and Garden Answers rose 7% to 50,888.”

Ian Carrotte said the Covid-19 crisis had simply accelerated the decline in circulations in sales because people couldn’t get to the shops as normal. “Coupled with a long term drop in sales due to the internet,” he added, “it is no surprise the industry has had more bad news.”

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