Remember City Link? Suppliers and staff nervous about the dreaded ‘business goes bust on Christmas Eve’ practice as fears mount over hospitality, retail and print industries

Remember City Link? Suppliers and staff nervous about the dreaded ‘business goes bust on Christmas Eve’ practice as fears mount over hospitality, retail and print industries

Remember when courier firm City Link went bust on Christmas Eve 2014 when its 2,272 staff lost their jobs and their suppliers were left high and dry? To use the old phrase dating from 9/11 – it was a good day to bury bad news or in the case of City Link to dump on everyone.

It’s a pretty shitty thing to happen whether you are an employee or a supplier. And I should know as I was made redundant from a graphics studio on Christmas Eve after the staff party along with half the workforce. It’s the worst time as by then you’ve spent out on Christmas and there’s no chance of getting another job for at least three or more weeks. For suppliers it’s even tougher as there’s no chance of getting paid at the last minute or even trying to get their goods back from the company as it’s all locked up.

Ian Carrotte of ICSM said many bosses and staff are very nervous about the Christmas holiday period this year following the Government’s mixed messages about social events which has caused a body blow to the beleaguered hospitality industry.

“Retailers, pubs, cafes and small shops that service workers in town and city centres have already been hit by the non-sensical work from home advice,” he said, “you can have an office party but don’t go to work or the pub. Already around a third of firms are looking to lay off staff in the New Year – and some in the hospitality industry are already drawing up plans now – before the break to either shut up shop or make redundancies.”

Concerns have mounted in the printing and allied industries over the problems of the debt ridden YM Group with some in the business suggesting they are another Pole Star that could go under over the holiday period. The firm is massively in debt according to trade journal Print Week triggering concerns in accounts departments and among ICSM members.

“We all remember City Link as they dropped a bombshell over the Christmas holidays, “said ICSM’s Ian Carrotte, “and of course only three years ago the computer firm Kaiam in Scotland made 310 staff redundant without much warning.”

It’s a brutal time as it’s not only the insolvent firm that’s in debt – often it’s their workers who have mortgages and bank loans to pay. This week Nottinghamshire Live reported on Charlotte Tomlinson, 27, who was made redundant as a marketing assistant at Lockwood Publishing. She told the news site she would have to sell her home after the company made her and others redundant.

With days to go before the holiday period Ian Carrotte’s advice is to chase for payment from clients who have failed to pay on time and show signs of shutting up shop. He said: “It’s a desperate time, and I’ve known financial directors when they hear a whisper of a customer about to go bust who have visited the firm and refused to leave until they get some payment.”

If you have problems with non-payers or customers who are months late in paying their bills – contact ICSM today.

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 or email Ian at 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.

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