I thought it very sad to see last night that Cash’s name tapes was in administration. The article link is to the Daily Mail however our first notice of it came via twitter when BBC property expert and journalist Henry Pryor @HenryPryor mentioned Labels4Kids saying “Sad that Cashes name tapes goes under. Clearly didn’t spot likes of @Labels4Kids with an idea that solved the BIG problem with name tapes.” Thanks for the mention Henry.
Sure, some might say! Why would we care? Of course we care. I have children too and the economy is tough. Business is not easy these days and so many are closing down. I worked in Insolvency and Investigations with Grant Thornton in London for some years and have seen my share of trading under administration and of selling businesses on but also of closing them down. It’s no fun being an undertaker for businesses let me tell you. It’s a sad thing to have to do but someone has to do it. KPMG in this case. My experience in the Industry has of course, thankfully, served me well in running my own business and employing staff.
In some ways of course they are competition to Labels4Kids. However they also provide uniform to many businesses and they employed 58 people at the premises in Coventry and have been in business for 140 years! A very impressive time to be running any business.
I think from what Labels4Kids has seen happening in the Industry for name labelling there are a few issues that come to mind which will not have helped the business survive:
- Large overheads with expensive, large machinery, a large premises and high number of staff
- Staff pensions for staff that have been there for a number of years is a high overhead for any business
- Dated machinery – the technology moves on so fast and we need to keep ahead. This is expensive to do
- The entry of online retail where some of us have expensive, but great websites selling direct to customers online, both trade and public
- The reduction in the use of pure mail order catalogues
- Social media – the use of social media these days is so much more important. Look simply at how I was notified of their administration – via twitter – and their lack of presence on facebook, twitter, etc
- The use of trust marks to show customer trust in the brand on your website
- Possible high use of external optimisation companies can result in high costs that need to be continually monitored.
- The move towards not sewing on labels but sticking them on
- The economy meaning that customers are now much more likely to buy a pack for 3 children with one name on and not one for each child.
On the uniform side of the business there are now so many stores and supermarkets online very cheaply and in some cases quite well. Some may argue they are not as well made as they were in the past but no one seems to worry so much about that as we have such a disposable society unfortunately and money is tight. People just don’t keep their belongings so long and businesses cannot afford to buy expensive items for their staff to wear. Many are going away from uniform also to a more casual approch of wear what you want.
I do hope that the administrators manage to find a buyer and reemploy at least a portion of the staff but I fear in today’s society this is not going to be an easy feat.Ann-Maree Morrison, MD of Labels4Kids Label supply options by Labels4Kids: