Saturday, 29 August 2015

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Jobs saved as Carlisle print firm franchise relaunches

A Carlisle print firm is a beginning a bright new era – just two months after its future was plunged into doubt.

Print Point photo
From left, Chelsie Marshall, Wendy McCormick, Greg Leathers, Sarah Steel, Chelsea Cannar with owners David and Marion Whittaker

The former Prontaprint business, on Warwick Road, faced an uncertain fate when its parent company fell into administration in December.

But franchise owners David and Marion Whittaker have now fully taken over the business and relaunched it as Print Point.

All five jobs have been saved and the couple say they have ambitious plans for the shop’s future.

Mr Whittaker, of Gretna, said: “We took over the Prontaprint franchise two years ago and were going along nicely until suddenly last December we got an email saying the parent company had gone into administration.

“Two of the former directors then bought the brand back and basically gave us an ultimatum: to sign up on a new franchise deal with them or go it alone.

“We didn’t think the deal they were offering was very good, so we opted to go for it ourselves.”

The couple have rebranded the shop and say customers have given the new-look business a unanimous thumbs-up.

“Our customers basically said: ‘It’s you we do business with, not the company, so we will continue to support you’,” said Mrs Whittaker.

“It’s a bit nerve-wracking to be going it alone in business given the current climate, but it’s also very exciting.

“It was awful to have to tell the staff last December that their jobs could be under threat, but it was fantastic to then be able to tell them our plans for the business and they have really bought into that.”

The firm offers a full commercial print service as well as photocopying.

“It has now also expanded into large format printing offering posters and banners. It’s a tough time in the print business with competition from the internet,” said Mr Whittaker. “But we’ve built up a good relationship with a lot of prominent local businesses and we are confident we can offer a service that will help them and us to continue to be successful.”



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