Customers and work will be transferred to production sites in Barking and Sunderland, closing the factory in Retford. However, a new Midlands office has opened under general manager Lee Edwards, software technician Jonathan Valentine and sales rep Caroline Charman to maintain contact with the thousand or so customers that the business had served.
“They have taken the decision that the future of their business is in Australia and Asia and were not able to give the UK operation the time and attention it needed, and when the lease came up for renewal coupled with a need to invest in digital printing and large format, decided to close the UK business,” says Gary Peeling, managing director of Where The Trade Buys. “The UK is a tough market if you are not focused on it 100%.
“We can take on their customers with minimum disruption to them.”
These customers will be part of the WTTB Rockstar loyalty scheme and will have a broader range of products to elect from. It brings in more volume that it turn helps to optimise ganging work, Peeling adds.
Trent Nankervis, CEO of CMYKHub, first met Peeling through the Dscoop association for HP Indigo users. He pointed the UK company in the direction of the RGMT SRA1 presses that form the backbone of the litho operation in Barking.
CMYKHub entered the UK five years ago through acquisition after the insolvency of RCS, whose sales agent based business model predated the internet. Agents were provided with books of samples and incentives to win work and direct it to the central factory for processing.
RCS had built up an eclectic portfolio of equipment including large format KBA for producing litho laminated packaging and displays, two Scodix digital enhancement presses, tand the UK's only Presstek 75DI and Dainippon Screen Truepress SX sheetfed inkjet press.
This was trimmed back when CMYKHub took over and the remaining Scodix will transfer to Barking to run alongside an existing installation. This will provide continuity for a product set that includes a soft touch finish on 450gsm board and digital enhancement, says Peeling. “Having the additional Scodix makes sense.
“There have been a number of products that were unique to them, personalised folders and different substrates for example, that are being added to the WTTB portfolio,” he says.
“Essentially this is the same type of customer, high street print and design or other printers wanting to offer a broader range of products, so these are very much aligned. There are also bespoke products that we can also do through Precision Printing, unlike some other online providers where they sell only standardised products that come through the website.”
CMYKHub started a business in Indonesia in the middle of last year, hoping to tap into the rapidly developing country with a youthful and increasingly well educated population. It is also looking at expansion to New Zealand.
The deal does not preclude Precision or WTTB moving into CMYKHub’s backyard. “Where The Trade Buys is already operating under licence in Australia,” says Peeling. “That was not part of the negotiations.”
By Gareth Ward
Where The Trade Buys is bringing more volume into its Barking and Sunderland sites following the deal to take on CMYKHub's UK customers. This will have benefits for both sides says managing director Gary Peeling.