From High Street to Back Street: the bigger they come the harder they fall

From High Street to Back Street: the bigger they come the harder they fall

With the news of the demise of Latimer Trend along with the Bradley Group’s Quinns the Printer it seems a week doesn’t pass without another big name in the printing industry biting the dust.

ICSM Credit charts failed companies in all sectors of British Industry with its listing of the Runners and Riders every month. Haulage firms, legal practices, designers, printers, stationers – the list is depressingly long with industry insiders admitting to ICSM that things are on the slide economically with more firms set to fall victim this year.

One common factor is debt. Loans taken out to cover a difficult trading period or to invest in new kit or people can cause problems if the investment fails to pay off. Carillion’s crash hit hundreds of companies and traders leaving many thousands out of pocket forcing some businesses to take out loans to cover the loss. Interest piles up along with charges and before long as in the case of Thomas Cook the debt becomes an impossible burden to service.

ICSM Credit is privy to information about failing and failed firms and has an insight into other factors behind a company collapse. Poor management, failure to move with the times, and allowing credit terms of 120 days or more. Plus, directors and owners taking disproportionately high salaries is a reoccurring theme which some finance managers of suppliers hit by an insolvency feeling it is morally wrong. Certainly, the workers of a failed firm who may not receive their final salaries would agree with that point.

The list of failed firms will shortly be published by ICSM and they include Creative Print & Merge Solutions Limited, Deluxe Printers Limited, Douglas Printers Limited, The Carlton Press (Sheffield) Limited and 130-year-old printing firm Latimer Trend. And in print finishing Cirencester Print Finishers Limited have also hit the buffers.

The signage and graphics industry has had its casualties with The Sign & Graphics Company Limited hitting the deck while in the stationery and office supplies division the Great Northern Envelope Company came to an end when liquidators were appointed.

The haulage and courier industries have not been immune to problems. In London Linked Couriers entered liquidation and Ware Transport (Birmingham) Limited based at the airport also came to an end. There will be more on the list this month.

In the news Bury Football Club has been wound up, while dominating the business update of course Thomas Cook holidays has left many a creditor out of pocket. On the High Street around 3,000 shops have closed in the UK up to June this year with up to 50,000 jobs either lost or in danger or being lost. Debenhams went into administration in April while Karen Millen and Coast were sold in a pre-pack in the summer although doubts remain over their long-term viability. Only last week Pizza Express hit the headlines due to financial problems which confirms a trend of chain restaurants struggling in an era of belt tightening. Whether that is due to a general downturn in the economy this year or as Latimer Trend claimed – Brexit fears – we will soon discover as the year comes to a close.

One point finance managers and accounts departments frequently make to ICSM is the one we should all take note of in our personal finances – don’t ignore problems when they start to emerge. So many firms battle on ignoring their impending collapse in the hope of a miracle. Creditors will always talk to their customers if there is a problem and will make arrangements to help. What they don’t like is that sudden freeze of payments without genuine explanations. And what they don’t like even more are phoenix deals – or in modern parlance – pre-packs. There’s more of that subject in the next ICSM newsletter.

Look out for the next set of Runners and Riders in ICSM’s October newsletter – with more news and views on the credit industry and business in general.

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.


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