ICSM's April 2021 Newsletter

ICSM's April 2021 Newsletter

Hello and Welcome to our April Newsletter

This month the Government finally begins to lift the restrictions that have hamstrung business for so-called non-essential retailers and businesses with a further loosening up of the rules promised in May and June.

It has been a nightmare and continues to be so for those who have been unable to trade or have their trade heavily restricted. For the High Street, the airports, trains, hotels and the night time economy the restrictions placed on business have been unacceptably high. Supermarkets and the online big retailers have been given a clear field to operate sending many smaller companies to wall. Hopefully it will be business as usual soon and at ICSM we will continue to give you the information you need to remain solvent by warning of troubled firms who may be on the brink - and not pay their suppliers.

As usual we have a number of stories from a wide variety of industry sectors - do check out our website for more as we chart these 'interesting times.' And as always we list the insolvencies in Runners and Riders by breaking the list into different sectors representing some of the key ICSM membership groups.

Best wishes and may we soon emerge from the Covid nightmare and get back to normal.

Best wishes
Ian Carrotte
Proprietor of ICSM Credit
For details about ICSM Credit call 0844 854 1850 or visit the website www.icsmcredit.com or email Ian at Ian.carrotte@icsmcredit.com

ICSM Credit, the Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4RR

Not a member? Normally you can join for less than a tank of diesel and protect yourself from late payers but we have a special free temporary membership offer this month. Use our free legal letters to chase unpaid invoices.

For a video on how to send a FREE LEGAL LETTER visit: https://youtu.be/AIycysoFhYo


The Budget: spend, spend, spend – before the tax hikes take effect – but by then Rishi Sunak will be PM and it will be someone else in Number 11 who takes the heat

Furloughing extended to September, more grants and loans for businesses and a package to help hospitality and retail survive the ongoing lockdown. All well and good but the bills for the Covid-19 crisis continue to rise to plus £400bn – and all this under a Conservative Government.

And then comes the hangover: the tax hikes to pay for it all. By freezing the level of tax free income and the higher rate threshold from next year the Chancellor will see more than two million people paying more tax bringing in billions more to the exchequer by 2026. Add to that the hike in Corporation Tax and Rishi Sunak will have begun the serious task of paying for the ill thought out spend, spend, spend policy to tackle the pandemic. No help for more than a million freelancers, hike the tax bill on the low paid, only a temporary increase on universal credit, no increase in minimum wage or help for care workers and no long term strategy to pay for the NHS and an aging population.

Papering over the cracks

When the leader of the opposition Kier Starmer replied to the budget he had a point that it was papering over the cracks. Essentially a sticking plaster on the economy – hoping that things pick up this summer and all is back to normal in 18 month’s time. What then?

There had been talk of a wind fall tax on the big tech firms of Google, Facebook and Amazon and the like. A tax on home deliveries to encourage us all to return to the high street shops. A wholesale reform of business rates and a permanent cut in VAT for retailing and hospitality – but no. This was an opportunity to look to the future to help small and medium sized businesses once again fire up the economy. A chance also to recalibrate Britain socially so that the low paid have more in their wages which in turn go into spending and investing - it's basic economics. So much talk of levelling up has been just that. 

To use an old phrase Rishi Sunak has had a good war – or in this case a good pandemic. He’s emerged as the bright new hope of the Conservative Party. Slick, positive and clean cut. Unlike the politically bruised images of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Matt Hancock. If as expected Labour make substantial gains in the 2024 election but fail to win then Johnson’s days are numbered and Sunak looks a shoe in for a move to Number 10.

Freeze on booze

There is much to applaud in his budget – and I’ve clearly outlined the downside – namely a failure to address the long term. But help for retail and hospitality is appreciated, help for locals to save their pubs, help for business in the way of loans, extending furloughing, help with stamp duty and a freeze on the usual victim of the budget: booze. And the freeze on fuel duty is a big help for the entire economy – although the idea that petrol and diesel cars will be phased out starting in 2030 is questionable. Collectively motorists through fuel duty pay the Chancellor £27bn a year and that cash can’t automatically be replaced by a tax on hydrogen powered engines or even less likely electric vehicles. If as I predict Sunak moves next door in 2024 or soon after, this and other long term issues will fall in someone else's in-tray. For now he’s just about got away with it and remains the Teflon Chancellor – which in politics is everything.

Harry Mottram

ICSM News: bonfire of the jobs as the High Street loses 250,000 workers in 12 months while ICSM warns of worse to come

On average every day during the Covid-19 crisis 48 shops have closed never to reopen. Local Data Company compiled the information to reveal the shocking effect of the Government’s policy of lockdowns to combat and pandemic.

“It’s not a surprise but it is depressing that so many retailers have closed their doors for good,” said Ian Carrotte of ICSM. “Supermarkets have been given a free pass at the expense of many retailers while Amazon have been allowed to clean up with no extra burden of taxation – unlike small high street businesses deemed as no-essential by Rishi Sunak. Take away anyone’s customers and no business is viable.”

Picture: Personel Today

Bonfire of retail jobs

Research conducted by the Local Data Company showed that 17,500 chain stores and pubs, cafes and other hospitality venues but not independent retailers have closed their doors for good – an average of 48 a day. The current estimate of jobs lost in these sectors in the last 12 months is around a quarter of a million. Clearly some stores were already in trouble as were many pubs but Covid-19 lockdowns have decimated this section of the economy. On the flip side 7,665 stores were opened in the last year although some of these came from new owners buying shops in administration.

“This is the worst set of figures since the Credit Crunch,” said Ian Carrotte, “and although there is Government help in the form or furlough payments and grants there will be an even greater number of closures once furloughing and the pandemic ends.”

The BBC’s business reporter Emma Simpson said: “Shopping centres saw the largest proportion of their stores closed, whilst retail parks fared the best. Fashion retailers and betting shops were the worst performing categories. Meanwhile takeaway outlets, and cake shops, enjoyed some growth. And city centres are doing worse than suburbs and commuter towns, driven by the number of people working from home.”

Ian Carrotte said there was a major problem of unpaid invoices to suppliers of these businesses when they close and a hit to the economy for more than 250,000 workers out of a job.

“Many retail workers are women who rely on public transport so the idea they can switch to a distribution centre out of town is unrealistic,” he said. “We need our high streets for workers, for retailers, for hospitality and all the businesses that supply them. That has to be a priority for this country as they are the heart of much of the UK’s business.”

Picture: BBC

Chocolate shock

The makers of luxury chocolate Thorntons are to close all their stores. The firm will continue online to supply boxes of chocolates and to stock various retailers and supermarkets with their products and independent shops that use their branding to boost sales will continue in business.

A Thorntons spokeswoman said: "In addition to our own retail estate, we work closely with around 100 other franchise stores that sell Thorntons product within a broader retail store environment - such as cards stores, gift stores and post offices."

"Our franchise partners, alongside our grocery partners and e-commerce, remain a key part of our strategy for the future of Thorntons. The Thorntons website store locator will continue to reflect the franchise stores available to customers."


Confessions of a print manager as ex Paperhat CEO Tim Peppiatt sparks a spat in Print Week (because his creditors never forget his past)

In the 1990s I used a print manager to bridge the gap between my graphic design studio and my clients as I didn’t have the time to buy print on top of everything else.

He was a one man print broker who took away all the hassle of estimating, quoting, advising on papers and printers, ordering, monitoring the print process and delivering on time. Every advertising agency I knew did the same employing their own print managers or using a print farmer as they were sometimes called.

The guy I used described himself as a leach, skimming off a healthy profit for his work although I felt he earned his mark-up as it involved a lot of juggling of jobs. Print Week’s Jo Francis has penned a piece about the former Paperhat CEO Tim Peppiatt who had described in a talk that traditional print management was ‘commercially unsound.’

Pic: www.ehmtic2014.com

Jo Francis wrote: “Peppiatt was speaking at a FuturePrint Virtual Conference session, where he was in conversation with Vpress sales director Kelvin Bell. He said the classic print management offering had been the right option at the time ‘but it’s not fit for purpose now and hasn’t been for a period.’”

It wasn’t so much his views that sparked a reaction amongst Print Week’s readers but Peppiatt’s past at Paperhat because the firm went bust in 2018 leaving its creditors high and dry. He then went on to found other enterprises – a past of which he didn’t refer to in his talk. That sparked the reaction online.

It began with someone who uses the historic name of johannesgutenberg as their handle. He (I’ve assumed it’s a he) said: “And you want to take advice from someone that led a company into administration?”

Peppiatt immediately responded having had his ego pricked. He wrote in reply: “It’s not normally my habit to respond to people who cowardly respond behind a pseudonym, however I’ll make an exception in your case. The following phrase comes to mind : ‘Show me the person who hasn’t made a mistake and I’ll show the person who hasn’t made anything’. In 23 years, myself and my colleagues created literally thousands of jobs and spent hundreds of millions with suppliers. Apart from the odd night waking up wondering exactly why people behaved in such an appalling, shameful and disingenuous fashion, during a crisis that could have been averted, I sleep just fine.”

When a sports firm went bust years ago owing me a tidy sum a friend pointed out that the directors were happy to take all the profits when things went well but not the responsibility of debt when it crashed. And that phrase came back to me with Peppiatt’s defence. Somehow creating jobs and spending money with suppliers counteracts the debts of £1.5m he left when he walked away from Paperhat – or so it seems in Peppiatt’s mindset.

However he received support from some contributors on Print Week’s comment section with someone called Cool Grey commenting: “Back in the day, print managers saw an opportunity to offer something that printers either wouldn't or couldn't and in the process saved their clients lots of money.”

But there was also plenty of criticism of the idea of print managers who effectively take away much of the profit margins for printers. Someone under the name of Peeved Creditor noted that print management firms ‘promise year on year cost reductions to clients when they have little or no control of supplier’s overheads and most direct costs.’ And although Peeved Creditor acknowledged some print managers were fine many had a negative impact on printers as they drove down prices.

Some printers I worked with in the past had a policy of not accepting work from print farmers as they felt the unethical ones would demand the lowest prices making the work unprofitable for them. In one instance I knew of a print farmer who would play one printer off another to get the best price – something I’m sure continues to this day.

Harry Mottram

More stories: check our website for news on logistics, construction, hospitality, printing and publishing - and much more
PLUS: The latest on the print industry and how trade shows have been hit (ICSM - Take Control Of Your Finances (icsmcredit.com); why breweries are going bust as well as pubs (ICSM - Take Control Of Your Finances (icsmcredit.com); the latest on Liberty Steel's impending collapse (ICSM - Take Control Of Your Finances (icsmcredit.com); the ghost of Polestar reappears (ICSM - Take Control Of Your Finances (icsmcredit.com); concerns over Eurostar's suppliers (ICSM - Take Control Of Your Finances (icsmcredit.com); and how the public lost £58m when Football Index shut up shop (ICSM - Take Control Of Your Finances (icsmcredit.com)


Runners and Riders
Below is a collated list taken from the Government’s London Gazette of various businesses who are experiencing problems in the last few weeks.
We have broken them into different sections to make it easier to see and we have included the company number in each case. 
Administrators Appointed
Black Country Rock Limited    10120219
Digital Fuel Marketing Limited    08607772
Milk Visual Effects Limited    08441256
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
Altus Media (One) Limited    08260700
CJS Media Limited    10193021
Gilgamesh Media Limited    08379596
Northern Exotics (Fabricators) :Limited    10321083
Liquidators Appointed
123 Marketing Limited    11281521
Chambers Media Limited    08989449
CJS Media Limited     10193021
Elite Finishing Limited    06140860
Litchfield Refinishing Limited    10547129
Precision Printing Plates Limited    00698704
Screen Print City Limited    04335498
Wonderland Advertising Limited    08404104
Members Voluntary Liquidations
Able Graphics Limited    04524164
Active Win Media Holdings Limited    11495298
Amersham Prints Limited    00356212
Arch-E-Tech Design Limited    05986911
Attention Sports & Media Limited    11734070
Birthmark Limited    10328799
Boxx TV Limited    06387216
Butler Corporate Communications Media Limited    07345657
Butler Design Limited    04701545
Castell Media UK Limited    07764085
Digital Television Limited    03891301
Cimpress UK Manufacturing Limited    10389067
First Carton Pazo Limited    00238339
Global Travel Marketing Limited    04297449
Henrietta Designs Limited    08503747
Highbury Music (Overseas) Limited    01263257
Highbury Music Limited    00978700
Jordan Decorative Shop Fitting Limited    06807195
Kinship Communications Limited    09358289
N.E.A.R. Parcels Limited    09381993
Nerdy Kid Media Limited    07584732
Phoebus Apollo Publishing Limited    09054078
Phototastic PR Limited    05688064
PPS. Publications Limited    02752801
PPS Publications Holdings Limited    12152803
Progressive Sports & Entertainment Marketing Limited    06487061
R. & S. Greeting Cards Limited    01193808
Redshift Digital Limited    07354538
Safety Media Limited    03124807
Scamp Modelling Limited    07589837
Socket Studios Limited    08079800
Streetfacts Target Marketing &Mailing Limited    02324765
Taurus Print & Design Limited    01527374
Tozer Communications Limited    04695574
Trozelli Design Limited    08412016
UK Media Platforms Limited    07526216
Woodwork Music Publishing Limited    07241569
Petitions to Wind Up
Precision Plastics (London) Limited    04938763
Administrators Meetings Para 51
Atlas Distribution Corporation Limited    08544824
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
BAH Logistics Limited    12292358
A.R. Quinn Transport LC Limited    10542557
Mayank Logistics Limited    09114313
Liquidators Appointed
Exceed Autocraft Limited    04283895
Blue line Cars (Ilford)    04068140
Fast Despatch Logistics (Belfast) Limited    12137137
Prospect Commercials Limited    04981491
North Link Transport Limited    12421344
Members Voluntary Liquidations
Atlas Distribution Corporation Limited    08544824
Frost's Service Station Limited    10201271
Hamilton Motor Factors Limited    01294715
Rocket Express Limited    03442348
Tremont Garage Limited    04360572
Truetech Distribution Limited    07375147
Petitions to Wind Up
Morden Motor Company Limited    07930952
Administrators Appointed
Modern Method Construction Limited    12079373
Compulsory Liquidators Appointed s 136
Avery Homes RH Limited    09419583
Construction Partnership UK Limited    03941201
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
Armfield Construction Limited    07019630
Channel Homes (UK) Limited    03604142
Civil Engineering and Construction Limited    10908334
MBA Construction Management Limited    11015064
Liquidators Appointed
Archwood Construction Limited    11407116
Central London Builders Limited    07960504
Curve Plumbing and Heating Limited    09883422
Howard Electrical Services (SW) Ltd    11278342
Kevra Construction Ltd - In Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation    10137393
Magic Touch Joinery Limited    10731597
ML Design And Build Limited    12321783
Newport Pagnell Construction Limited    01052871
Riverside Joinery (London) LLP    OC358194
Saint Construction Ltd    07401411
West-Therm Plumbing And Heating Limited    11058648
York Homes Developments Limited    04586609
Members Voluntary Liquidations
2MC Homes Limited    07409532
BMA Property Limited    10597979
Dobsons Civil Engineering and Construction Limited    03837015
Empire Villa Properties Limited    10819479
Gradient Developments Limited    08015758
Megan Construction Limited    04619544
Pegasus Plumbing & Heating Services Limited    03265083
Roman Developments (Southern) Limited    05199869
Torbay Developments Limited    00560417
W B Cox (Construction) Limited    03570950
Winding up orders
Carpenters Mill Limited    11873484
Administrators Appointed
Broad Bean Events Limited    08670583
Northern Leisure Group Limited    01977442
Sundial Group Limited    03432674
Woodside Conference Centre Limited    03428525
Administrators Meetings Para 51
Club La Costa (UK) Plc    03123199
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
Continental Hospitality Group Limited    11842709
Hit-N-Run Sports Limited    07836744
London Bus Tour Tickets Limited    07738233
Love Shack Ldn Limited    11350134
Olive Tree Brasserie Lytham Limited    11120187
Recommended Hotels Limited    04632986
The Pizza, Pancake and Waffle House Limited    11917430
Liquidators Appointed
23 Hospitality Limited    08997950
Castle Historic Properties (Weardale) Limited    12227039
Clique Bar & Restaurant Limited    09576412
Cyclone Events Management (Wrexham) Limited    11857891
Fat Grey Cat Tours Limited    11661594
Frome Town Limited    06755399
IPR Events London Limited    09483102
Just Hire Catering Equipment and Furniture Limited     07589637
MG Harbourside Limited    05528256
Olive Tree Brasserie Stockton H Limited    10971968
Original Alkiz Restaurant Limited    11667858
Shoreditch Cafes Limited    10702621
The Cellars Limited    03859065
The Quarry House (Haworth) Limited    08351633
V Hospitality Limited    11429098
Members Voluntary Liquidations
Bath Luxury Holiday Letting Limited    07495627
CLC Coffee Bars Limited    01016118
CS Hotel Solutions Limited    08828343
Douglas Simm Travel Limited    02040907
Eventmaker Hospitality Limited    06002375
Fairwood Golf Limited    04522513
Hero Hospitality Ventures (Fishergate York) Limited    12214279
Lord Hill Hotel Limited    04257371
Skegness Pier Leisure Limited    08933702
Stylish Resorts Limited    04141222
Winding up orders
Otley Pubs & Bars Limited    11562802
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
CPMP Fitness Limited    09411268
Identity hair and Beauty Lounge Limited    07159128
James-Miller Hair Design Limited    05846530
Le Pain Nouveau Limited    01848243
United Motors Spares Limited    08342101
Liquidators Appointed
Birdhouse Retail Limited    11346126
Cookies & Cream Beds Ltd    09525749
Fine Fish of Benwell Limited    04903882
Responsible Retail Limited    03793615
Shropshire Equestrian Supplies Limited    09709518
The House of Eunice Limited    09093793
The Urban Delicatessen Ltd    12463168
Monkey Pig Childrens Wear Limited    08548559
Urmston E Cigs Limited    08521861
Village Fabrics & Interiors Limited    07866174
Wigg Hairdressing Limited    07456058
Members Voluntary Liquidations
AIMIA Foods Group Limited    05202201
JJW Retail Solutions Limited    12073509
Insight Retail Consulting Limited    05078028
Kout Food Investments UK Limited     08710203
The Food Business Limited    04191478
Venue & Hotel Finders Limited    05292754
Petitions to Wind Up
DS Building Supplies Ltd    10374284
Administrators Appointed
Greensill Capital Management Company (UK) Limited    08037769
Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation Deemed in Consent Meetings
The Umbrella Cheltenham Limited    10201055
W.T.S Water Treatment Services Ltd    07898525
Liquidators Appointed
Debt Advisory Help Line Limited    12089043
Sovereign Care Homes Limited    09262607
Spartan Fire Safety Limited    11013326
Sussex Flying Club Limited    02795671
The Employees Lawyer Limited    08550972
Traffic Solutions and Consultancy Limited    11476951
Members Voluntary Liquidations
Adam Produces Limited    09556093
Carrwood New Cross Residential Limited    10576356
Eastern Environmental Services Limited    07042302
E Learning For You Limited    07280241
I Care Health (UK) Limited    06304972
Lyon Energy Limited    10403169
Mold Builders Merchants (Holdings) Limited    01965565
Move UK Estate Agents Limited    08602007
Orthodontics+ Limited    06340391
Replay Gaming Limited    06467240
RH Satellite Services Limited    07865292
Skegby Family Medical Services Limited    10302197
Stowmarket Skip Hire Limited    04599219
Sussex and Surrey Care Centres Limited    04173203
The Payroll Service Company Limited    01785949
Thornton Jones Family Law    05283829
Windsor Solicitors Limited    07218904
Petitions to Wind Up
Ponies Association (UK)   02308162


For information on ICSM visit www.icsmcredit.com or call 0844 854 1850.
ICSM, The Exchange, Express Park, Bristol Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4RR. Tel: 0844 854 1850. www.icsmcredit.comIan.carrotte@icsmcredit.com


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