ICSM Credit News: Sunak says UK economy is 'damaged'; jobs go at papermill; warning over rise in thefts as recession bites; Stoke printer goes bust; and a vote in favour of printed catalogues

ICSM Credit News: Sunak says UK economy is 'damaged'; jobs go at papermill; warning over rise in thefts as recession bites; Stoke printer goes bust; and a vote in favour of printed catalogues

ICSM Credit News: Sunak says UK economy is 'damaged'; jobs go at papermill; warning over rise in thefts as recession bites; Stoke printer goes bust; and a vote in favour of printed catalogues

For those with long memories the recessions of the 1980s caused lasting damage to the economy, to businesses and to people’s lives. It took most of the 90s to drag to country back to prosperity by which time the world was changing as the age of the email and the website arrived to create new challenges. One aspect many will recall was how the country had more than three million on the dole and millions of homes in negative equity. Going on what the Chancellor announced, the country is in for another difficult decade.

Shrinking economy

Print Monthly’s Rob Fletcher (pictured) reported: “Chancellor Rishi Sunak has used his spending review to warn of the ‘lasting’ damage novel coronavirus (Covid-19) will do to the UK economy, saying the pandemic will continue to impact growth and jobs for a number of years.

“Speaking in parliament, Sunak revealed that the UK economy is set to shrink by 11.3% in 2020 – its largest decline in 300 years – and will not return to its pre-pandemic levels until at least the end of 2022. The economy is expected to grow 5.5% in 2021 and 6.6% in 2022 as the UK continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic, though the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned this could be lower if the UK were to leave the European Union without a deal.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said: “I don’t think those in in power understand fully we are in an economic emergency the like of which we haven’t seen in more than a generation.

“More than two million people unemployed means two million fewer customers and two million people who can’t afford to buy homes, take holidays and boost the economy in so many ways.

“Sunak has borrowed a total of £394bn, the highest amount in peacetime. It didn’t have to be like this as so many in business have said. Shops, offices and factories should never have been closed and economy didn’t need to be closed. The Government should have given the clinical advice and treated the country as adults.”

Papermill lays off staff

Print Week’s Darryl Danielli has reported that the papermill Arjowiggins is to cut just over 70 jobs at its Stoneywood site in Scotland as the business, which was rescued from administration last year, battles the fallout from Covid-19.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the Arjowiggins businesses and although we expect to see some recovery next year we do not anticipate a full return to pre-Covid conditions and our pre-Covid plans,” said Arjowiggins CEO Jonathan Mitchell in a statement.

Danielli said: “Like most businesses, it has made use of the government’s furlough scheme at the circa 400-staff mill, which Mitchell said had helped the it navigate through the pandemic despite trading losses.

“Mitchell led the MBO team that acquired the business and assets of Arjowiggins Fine Papers and Arjowiggins Chartham business last September, nine months after it was placed in administration.”

The paper industry has been hit by the twin effects of economic slowdown and decline in newspaper, magazine and publications.

Industrial crime warning

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said members of the credit intelligence group had reported incidents of criminals stealing valuable kit from businesses. In a report in the trade journal Print Week thieves have stolen items from works vans in a targeted attack.

Jo Francis reported: “A vehicle graphics specialist suffered a major theft over the weekend with parts stripped from several brand new Mercedes vans belonging to a client. Nick Wintle, managing director of Marlow-based Globe Print, posted an appeal on Facebook following the theft, which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning. Parts were stolen from five Mercedes Sprinter vans that were in the process of being branded with graphics for customer Lanes Group.”

Print firm hits the buffers

Stoke-on-Trent printing company Wood Mitchell based at Festival Park have gone bust. Liquidators of BV Corporate Recovery & Insolvency Services Limited of Stockport in Cheshire have been appointed.

The business began more than a century ago surviving two world wars, the depression and the various recessions since.

Ian Carrote of ICSM Credit said the printing sector had been hit disproportionately in recent years due to the rise of the internet and decrease in printed literature and newspapers. He said: “The Covid-19 crisis – made worse by the anti-business actions of the Government – has been the final nail in the coffin of many businesses. What is needed now is a recovery plan on the scale of the post war economic packages to bring industry back and create jobs.”

Print is best

Print Business reported on an article in The Guardian carried a report extolling the virtues of the printed catalogue in the run up to Christmas. Apparently families across the land are flicking through “beautifully photographed pictures of products” in lieu of visiting stores ran the story. They then go to a website or pick up a phone to place an order.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit whose membership includes hundreds of print businesses said it was a backward step for firms like Argos to ditch the printed catalogue. He said: “When you recall back in the day Empire Stores and the like printed millions of huge colour catalogues for mail order – they were highly successful business models. A catalogue is much more friendly and easy to flick through compared to laboriously exploring a website.”

Gareth Ward of Print Business said: “Shoppers who are trapped at home are turning to print rather than to the web browser. Convenience is a real issue: flicking through 3,000 products for inspiration is more effective that trying to browse 3,000 products displayed ten-up on a web page that refuses to load. There is also an environmental and human element. The Dispatches television programme this week focused on the environmental cost of emails and lives lived online. The message that print is a renewable resource may be getting through, a beneficiary perhaps of the anti-plastic sentiment in packaging.”

And of course paper is 100% recyclable.

About ICSM Credit

ICSM Credit has more than four decades of experience as a credit intelligence group whose members gain inside information about firms in trouble allowing them to avoid bad debts and rogue traders. To join costs less than a tank of fuel - while at the moment there's a special free temporary membership offer during the Covid-19 crisis which gives access to free legal letters. ICSM also has an effective debt collecting service which has a global reach - ask for details from Paul.

For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com on how to subscribe and to join the UK’s credit intelligence network to avoid bad debts and late payers. Follow ICSM Credit on FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube and Ian Carrotte on LinkedIn.

To keep up to date subscribe to the FREE ICSM Credit Newsletter to hear all the latest insolvency news and to see who has gone out of business click on the orange panel on the top left of the home page of the website www.icsmcredit.com or send an email to Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

For details for the work of the journalist Harry Mottram visit www.harrymottram.co.uk

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