Melbourne-based magazine and book printer, Graphic Impressions is in liquidation, with staff and creditors taken by surprise.
According to a source, Graphic Impressions’ 40-odd staff were called into the office on Thursday to be told the business was closing, and that they no longer had jobs.
Creditors have been left in limbo, including Barry Webster, director, Signarama Melbourne CBD, who is owed $45,000. Webster, and competitors of Graphic Impressions have pointed to the company's low pricing as the reason for its collapse.
Webster says, “We did business with them for a long time. They have always been reasonably slow on paying, and asked us to pay things off in $5,000 installments, which is what we did in good faith, to help them out. Had we have been a real hardass about it we might of got our money back.
“You try to do the right thing by your clients, and sometimes it pays to be an ass.
“From what I hear in the market it is about low pricing. I was at the other side of the trade, the finishing part, and we are getting screwed down too.
“No one is saying Silvio [Morelli, owner, Graphic Impressions] has done a phoenix or anything like that, but one equals one, not two or 3, and print work needs to be paid for what it is worth.
Darryl Calderwood, a semi-retired print veteran who ran print recruitment and resourcing businesses, has known Graphic Impressions general manager Steve Rosser for 30 years.
Calderwood says, “I know it was all a bit of a shock to Rosser, they were all just called in apparently and the liquidators were with them. I had a call from Rosser this morning to mainly discuss any opportunities that may be available for him and some of the staff.”
Printgraphics is another magazine printer in Melbourne, which was in competition with Graphic Impressions. Mark Terrill, managing director, Printgraphics says, “I did not find the liquidation unexpected. Their pricing has been very cheap for a long time. We are finding things okay, it is a tough game though. I think it was a necessary conciliation.
“You always get drained down by the low pricing. You try not to but it has an effect on your pricing. They send out unsolicited quotes, our clients see them, and want us to do that too. There are cowboys out there that are dangerous for everyone.
“This will be good for the industry. Magazine printing in Melbourne is going down at a great rate. It is not a good model to focus on, you have to diversify to head into the future.”
Webster says, “There has to be a point where everyone understands the value in the product, and that is the price. That lets people get jobs, and sustain everywhere. It is a race to the bottom and everyone loses.
“We got caught for $45,000 because of the predatory pricing. If they were getting paid a decent price they probably would not be broke.
“There needs to be someone doing an analysis of why cheap pricing is bad for business.
“I don’t need any staff if all the printers are broke.
“We have a duty of care to expose all of this stuff, and the people that go broke and just start up again, where no-one gets paid.
“Everyone needs to walk away from jobs with silly pricing, and don’t let burnt businesses back in the industry.
“A staff member there told me they have to apply to the Government for the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme (GEERS).
“They just put a new press in, a new truck, and they have gone broke. We knew he was doing it hard for dollars, but when someone is putting a new press in you think they are doing alright.
“It is sad for the staff, they are all hunting for jobs, which are hard to find.
“We have competitors in finishing, where it is the same. Predatory pricing, it is silly, it is unsustainable. Everybody should be asking for a fair market value for your product. It should not be a drive to a bottom, it is just nonsense.
“I know one of the production managers is still there finishing up work, so they can get payment. But everyone else was told they were out, that’s it, he’s closing it.”
Liquidation is being handled by PKF Melbourne. Australian Printer contacted the liquidators, but did not get a response prior to publication.
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