Alan Willoughby & Co to close doors

Melbourne based company Alan Willoughby & Co Screen Printers is set to close after 60 years of operation.

Owner Peter Willoughby is the second generation in the family business, having taken over with his wife in 1982. They currently run Alan Willoughby & Co with their son.

Willoughby says, “There are a multitude of reasons for our closing: diminishing sales, Yellow Pages compared to Google in advertising, and technology changes. I had a lack in confidence in the future of screen printing. Our landlord wanted an extension of a two-year lease, along with increasing the rent and that was really the last straw for us.

“Our main customer is buying out most of our equipment and I am moving to work at one of their factories. The remaining equipment will be bought by another screen printer and some will be turned to scrap, but there was not much left.”

[Related: North Coast screen printer shuts doors]

Willoughby declined to comment on where he was moving to.

Willoughby says, “Some of our customers have retired, and a couple have died. We have been left with a turnover which leaves a gap in the business. It is hard to fill in and expensive to bring in new customers off Google.

‘Our company was started in 1958. I spent seven and a half years doing an apprenticeship and working at other companies before we took over. We mainly do general screen printing, such as printing onto metal and Perspex.”

“For us, the timing is right. The business only consists of myself, my wife and my son, we are a small screen printing company. After the global financial crisis, the last staff member I hired handed in their notice.”

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