Trade Mailing closes Geelong

Trade Mailing has shut down its Geelong operation little more than a year after winning a $1.2m government grant to kickstart the business.

The 2500sqm facility, which manufactured and printed envelopes and letters for targeted direct mail campaigns, has been cleared out and all 14 staff made redundant.

Managing director Toby Pitt says the venture failed because the market is not yet ready for the technology and not enough clients took up the concept.

“I think it was a few years ahead of its time, the idea is geared towards using customer data to design personalised campaigns,” he says.

“The databases most companies have just aren’t there yet, so there was not enough interest to keep it going.”

[Related: More companies in distress]

Pitt says the business only received about $700,000 of the $1.2m grant, and he declined this financial year’s about $200,000 payment because he knew it was going downhill.

“AusIndsutry has been very understanding throughout the process,” he says.

Pitt says all staff have been given all their redundancies and entitlements despite being employed for less than a year, and most have already found new jobs.

He says negotiations with machine suppliers are ongoing.

“The business concept was my idea and at the end of the day it is my fault that it failed, which hurts, and is something I’ve struggled with over the past several months,” Pitt says.

Trade Mailing’s grant was part of the $24.5m Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund to create jobs in an area hard-hit by the closure of Ford’s car factories.

The closure is the second major fail for an AusIndustry-backed regional regeneration business following the closure of Focus Press in Wollongong last year shortly after it opened with a $6m grant.

Trade Envelopes Pty Ltd, which supplies traditional envelopes and mailing services out of Sydney and Brisbane, is unaffected as it is a separate corporate entity.

It on-sold many Trade Mailing products around Australia and now plans to source them from other suppliers to continue providing the personalised direct mail service.

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